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Groundhog Gordy Readies for
His Facebook Live Weather Prediction

February 2, 2022

Groundhog Day

The Milwaukee County Zoo’s resident groundhog, Gordy, is set to take part in the popular Groundhog Day ceremony on Wednesday, Feb. 2. Gordy will make his expert weather prediction livestreamed on the Milwaukee County Zoo’s Facebook Page at 9 a.m., before the Zoo opens. Interested Zoo fans can watch from the warmth and comfort of their homes and enjoy festivities virtually.

Groundhog Day
Zookeeper Joe will host the
Groundhog Day ceremony.

The ceremony will take place in the Northwestern Mutual Family Farm, hosted by “Zookeeper Joe,” a favorite feature on the Zoo’s Facebook Page, sharing his animal facts and fun with followers.

According to tradition, if it’s a sunny day and Gordy sees his shadow, he’ll return to his burrow for six more weeks of winter, but if he does not see a shadow … expect an early spring! Fun activities for the event include fans being able to download a Groundhog Coloring Sheet and choose if Gordy will predict either six more weeks of winter or an early spring. Download a coloring sheet below and proudly display the artwork in a window to show support for Gordy.

The ceremony also includes Groundhog Bingo! Download a bingo card below and follow along during the festivities, marking off words as you hear Zookeeper Joe say them. If your luck holds and you complete a bingo, submit your card to zoo.specialevents@milwaukeecountywi.gov. Several winners will be chosen randomly to win groundhog-themed goodies!

Groundhog Coloring Sheets

Groundhog Bingo Cards

Groundhog Day
The Zoo’s resident groundhog, Gordy, is a favorite animal of Zoo visitors.

Gordy was born in Indiana, and hand-raised. He’ll turn 4 years old on April 6 this year, and because Gordy was hand-reared, it has been easier for zookeepers to train him for different behaviors. Keepers comment Gordy has a “goofy and friendly personality,” traits the animal staff hoped for when he was acquired by the Zoo.

Groundhogs, also known as woodchucks, are one of the largest members of the ground squirrel family. Double layers of fur keep them warm and waterproof, enabling them to cope in the cold and wick away moisture after being in the water. Groundhog burrows are very complex and each one has a “bathroom” chamber. They’ve been known to shift more than 700 pounds of soil digging one burrow!

In the wild, groundhogs eat grasses, plants, fruits and tree bark. In warm seasons, a groundhog can eat more than one pound of vegetation in one feeding.

For more information on Groundhog Day at the Zoo, please call the Zoo’s Marketing and Communications Department at 414.256.5466.

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