BEAKY KICK: Penguin Tinkerbell tips the Saudis to win the opening match of the soccer World Cup on Thursday.
We’ve all heard of Paul the octopus in Germany predicting soccer World Cup scores, and this year Achilles the cat in Russia. But what about our own Tinkerbell the penguin?

She’s one of the raft - the collective word for a group of penguins - at uShaka Marine World which enjoy pushing balls around. This week the penguins were presented with two balls, each representing a team in the opening match of the 2018 Fifa World Cup in Russia.

At first they waddled around the ball marked “Saudi” in green and the one marked “Russia” in red. But after a short time, Tinkerbell declared her faith in Saudi Arabia by giving Russia the boot - or rather, the beak.

The Russia ball rolled away into a nearby gutter not only once but twice, and eventually three times.

Watch on Thursday to check whether Tinkerbell’s prediction of a 3-0 win to Saudi Arabia is spot on, or out to lunch, when Tinkerbell would no doubt be hoping that sardines are on the menu.

Speaking of which, elusive sardines are heading to town. Although barely making an appearance in the past few years, early signs this year show that the silvery marine creatures, dubbed the greatest shoal on Earth, will once again make an appearance along the KZN eastern shores.

Yesterday, the KZN Sharks Board said they had seen many shoals of baitfish off the coast, especially between uMhlanga Rocks and Amanzimtoti. “Small numbers of sardines will often be found among these other species of baitfish,” said Mike Anderson-Reade, head of operations at the Sharks Board.

The board’s monitoring of sardine activity started last week, he said, as they ensure that any shoals of sardines that were accompanied by large groups of predators were monitored. Shark safety gear was managed accordingly to avoid damage.

“The first positive signs of heavy predator activity which is normally associated with sardines was seen about 5km to the north of Cobb Inn, stretching southwards to just south of Mazeppa Point on the Eastern Cape coast.

“Thousands of common dolphin and Cape gannets were observed diving and feeding on what we suspect were shoals of sardines. Although these were positive signs, this area is still 200km south of KZN and if these shoals do move northwards it may be some time before they reach KZN. This does not exclude the possibility of some small shoals occurring off the KZN coast,” said Anderson-Reade.