A cross-eyed opossum called Heidi, who has filled the void left by psychic Paul the Octopus, has predicted that Natalie Portman will walk away with this year's Best Actress Oscar.
Heidi appeared via videolink from her zoo in Leipzig, Germany, on "Jimmy Kimmel Live!", the US television show, to "select" her favoured candidate.
A cross-eyed picture of each actress in the category – Portman, Annette Bening, Nicole Kidman, Jennifer Lawrence and Michelle Williams – was taped to an Oscar statuette. Whichever statue Heidi touched with her paw first signified the winner.
She took a long time deliberating over Kidman, nominated for her role in Rabbit Hole, and Lawrence, who stars in Winter's Bone, before eventually choosing Portman, widely considered the favourite for this weekend's award ceremony.
Heidi is thought to be two and a half years old, and was abandoned outside an animal shelter in North Carolina in the United States, together with her sister Naira, and has been at Leipzig Zoo since May.
Her popularity is reminiscent of Paul the Octopus, who achieved global fame for correctly "predicting" the outcome of matches in last year's football World Cup. Paul died from natural causes in October.
Paul is to be honoured with a six foot statue on top of a football, however, in the middle of which will be a see-through window with the golden urn containing Paul's ashes.