Dugong sees red: Pig the sea cow predicts Labor will win Australian election (sort of) | Australian election 2022

Pig came out of the deep, a slow-moving mass in search of an answer to the question arresting the mind of the nation: who will emerge from the federal election victorious?

The dugong’s performance was precise and assured. A red and blue toy representing each major party were dropped into Pig’s enclosure, and after mere moments consulting his mystic powers, he disappeared below the water’s surface.

In one long stride, he passed the blue floaty, diving straight to the sinking red bucket. The dugong’s choice was clear – Labor leader Anthony Albanese is set for victory.

“I was expecting him to choose blue,” said Dayna Plater, senior dugong keeper at Sea Life Sydney Aquarium. “All of our uniforms here are blue.

“He still chose to follow the red bucket down, and put it on his head and wear it as a hat.”

For almost an hour, the lone blue toy floated by on the water’s surface, discarded and forgotten by Pig.

The 23-year-old dugong has been at the Sydney Aquarium since being rescued in 2008, and is one of only two dugongs in care in the world.

'I was expecting him to choose blue': Pig the dugong bets on a Labor election win.
‘I was expecting him to choose blue’: Pig the dugong bets on a Labor election victory. Photograph: Blake Sharp-Wiggins / The Guardian

This is Pig’s first political prediction, and Plater has faith in him. But the dugong is not the only animal being consulted for an expert opinion.

Speckles the psychic saltwater crocodile was presented with posters of Morrison and Albanese at Crocodylus Park in Darwin this week. Attached to each poster were slabs of meat. Though he took longer to come to his conclusion, Speckles finally landed on Albanese too.

Over in the Australian Reptile Park, Hugo the oracle tortoise had a choice between two plates of lettuce, one sporting a picture of Morrison, and the other Albanese.

The 71-year-old tortoise has seen 16 prime ministers in his lifetime, and appeared indecisive. He initially made his way towards Morrison before making a sharp turn towards Albanese. The result seemed certain. But in a sudden turn of events, Hugo forgot the fate of the nation. Spotting his girlfriend in the distance, Hugo bypassed both Morrison and Albanese.

Hugo the tortoise deals with electoral indecision.
Hugo the tortoise deals with electoral indecision. Photograph: Australian Reptile Park

The Australia Electoral Commission is not impressed, assuring Australian voters that their staff counting ballots will not be so easily blinded by love.

This is why Australian elections aren’t decided by lovesick tortoises. Our staff focus on counting every ballot paper and absolutely will not be distracted by Hugo’s girlfriend Estrella.

– AEC ✏️ (@AusElectoralCom) May 20, 2022

And in an alternate move, Gloomy the octopus has predicted a Liberal win, wrapping its tentacles around a set of blue lego blocks also at Sea Life Sydney Aquarium.

As for the accuracy of Pig’s prediction, Plater said: “I think Pig has chosen a clear winner today.

“I’m excited to see if Pig is going to be correct.”

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