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Groundhog Day Goes Virtual in 2021

February 2, 2021

Groundhog Day

The Milwaukee County Zoo’s resident groundhog, Gordy, is set to take part in a unique Groundhog Day ceremony on Tuesday, Feb. 2. To adhere to safety guidelines during the pandemic, 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 are encouraged to tune in from the warmth and comfort of their homes to enjoy the festivities virtually.

Groundhog DayThe ceremony will take place in the Northwestern Mutual Family Farm, hosted by “Zookeeper Joe,” a regular and 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!

In preparation for the celebration, Zoo fans can download a Groundhog Coloring Sheet and choose if Gordy will predict either six more weeks of winter or an early spring, and proudly display in a window to show support for this annual Zoo tradition.

This year’s ceremony also includes Groundhog Bingo! Download the bingo card from the website and follow along during the festivities, marking off words as you hear Zookeeper Joe say them. Those lucky enough to get 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

Now almost 3 years old, Gordy was born in Indiana, and hand-raised. The fact he was hand-reared makes it easier for zookeepers to train him for keeper talks. Keepers comment Gordy has a “goofy and friendly personality,” traits the animal staff hoped for when he was acquired by the Zoo.

Groundhog Day
Gordy shown enjoying a snack of peanuts in 2018.

Groundhogs, also known as woodchucks, are one of the largest members of the ground squirrel family. They’re good swimmers and can climb trees. In the wild, they 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, please call the Zoo’s Marketing and Communications Department at 414.256.5466.