Video: Meet Toby the penguin at Ski Dubai who has been accurately picking Fifa World Cup match winners

The bird has so far correctly predicted the shocking victories of Saudi Arabia and Japan


Nasreen Abdulla

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Published: Thu 24 Nov 2022, 6:00 AM

Last updated: Thu 24 Nov 2022, 5:58 PM

One of the shinning stars in this year's Fifa World Cup has to be Toby. The smart and sassy penguin at Ski Dubai, has been making some unbelievable predictions during the ongoing tournament in Qatar.

The 12-year-old bird has been grabbing eyeballs ever since he predicted two of the biggest upsets at the World Cup. On Tuesday, Toby picked Saudi Arabia as the winner.

After the shock defeat of the Messi-led Argentinian team to Saudi Arabia, Toby once again proved his clairvoyant skills by correctly picking Japan as the winner of Wednesday’s game against Germany.

Although the Germans dominated much of the game, leading 1-0 after the 33rd minute goal by Ilkay Gundogan, Japan equalised the score in the 75th minute before a goal by Takuma Asano helped his team clinch a 2-1 win at Khalifa International Stadium.

Furthermore, Toby also forecasted that Spain would win its duel against Costa Rica on Wednesday, and it did by a whopping 7-0 margin.

Ever since the tournament kicked off on Sunday, Toby has been accurately picking up winners every day. While some of his predictions have been off the mark, his success rate has been impressive.

Smartest bird

According to Toby’s handler Ahmed, he is the smartest bird in the facility. “Penguins are generally smart,” he said.

“But Toby is the smartest of them of all. He is very curious and always observed things around him. Of course, his attention span is short, but he is very observant.” The two of them share a very warm and loving relationship.

The Gentoo penguin has been a resident of Ski Dubai for over three years now. He can recognise colours and loves to play. At the penguin show, he is the star attraction and walks out ahead of all the other penguins, as he enjoys the adulation he gets from visitors. When KT arrived at Ski Dubai to meet him, he was busy playing with a rattle ball.

Gentoo penguins are the third largest penguins in the world and are easily recognisable, with their characteristic bright orange-red bills and unusual white patches above their eyes. They can swim at a speed of 36 km/hr and they love eating fish and other seafood.

Fans will remember the last World Cup, when Paul the octopus gained popularity for making accurate match predictions. Paul, who lived at the Sea Life Centre in Germany, got 12 out of his 14 predictions correct, including picking Spain as the winner of the 2010 World Cup.


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