German fans loved Octopus Paul when he correctly picked the results of Germany's first five games at the World Cup, but they turned on him after he correctly picked -- in an event televised live on German television -- Germany to lose to Spain in the semifinals.
There have been suggestions that Paul should be fried, grilled or turned into a seafood salad or paella -- or throw him into the shark tank at the Sea Life Aquarium in Oberhausen. At Berlin's "fan-mile," where hundreds of thousands of fans watched the semifinal, fans sang anti-octopus songs after the game.
The Spanish government wants protection for Paul. "I am concerned for the octopus," joked Prime Minister Jose Luiz Rodriguez Zapatero on Radio Cadena Ser. "I am thinking of sending him a protective team." Environment and Fisheries Minister Elena Espinosa suggested there be a ban imposed on fishing for Paul: "On Monday, I shall be at the European Council of Ministers and I shall be asking for a ban on Paul the octopus so the Germans do not eat him!" Spanish Industry Minister Miguel Sebastian offered to give "immediate" free transfer to Spain to "ensure his protection."