A crowd of people gathered excitedly around bears at a Russian zoo which were asked to predict the winner in the Ukrainian presidential elections on March 31st.
"Anyone but Poroshenko!" cried the crowd in Krasnoyarsk zoo on the outskirts of the city as a brown bear made its way towards a butternut squash bearing a picture of Ukrainian President, Petro Poroshenko.
Buyan, an ursine resident of the zoo, was choosing among three squashes, each adorned with a flag depicting the main candidates in Ukraine's presidential election taking place on March 31st.
According to Reuters, the zoo bears have been previously asked to make predictions in major contests. Last year, Buyan placed his bet in the soccer World Cup - and got it wrong. Despite candidate Yulia Tymoshenko, a former prime minister whose latest polls suggest she will come third in the first round of the presidential race, Buyan made his way out of his enclosure and approached a squash with a flag showing her picture. He then made his way over to candidate Volodymyr Zelenskiy, a comic actor who plays a president in a popular Ukrainian TV show. But despite Zelenskiy's clear lead in opinion polls, he barely caught Buyan's attention. Instead, Buyan headed for the Poroshenko squash, pulled out its flag and ate the vegetable.
Though a clear prediction of a Poroshenko victory, this may not be the positive omen the incumbent, who is running for a second term in office, would like it to be. Buyan's previous attempt at a prediction in a major competition - a choice between the French and Croatian teams during the World Cup final - was incorrect. Moreover, a second prediction, by a female polar bear called Avrora, was more in line with the polls. After some deliberation, Avrora selected a slab of raw pork bearing a photo of current front-runner Zelenskiy.