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Groundhog Day

February 2, 2020

Groundhog Day

The Milwaukee County Zoo’s resident groundhog, Gordy, is set to take the spotlight Sunday, February 2, for Groundhog Day festivities. Now almost 2 years old, Gordy will make his expert weather prediction at 10:30 a.m. in the Zoo’s Northwestern Mutual Family Farm.

Groundhog Day cookies
Special Groundhog Day cookies will be available for purchase.

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!

The celebration includes a free raffle in which visitors can “Guess Gordy’s Weight.”  The three winners will receive either a groundhog hat, paw gloves or socks! Eager fans can also prepare for the big day by downloading the “Gordy the Groundhog Coloring Sheet”. Color the sheet, bring it to the Zoo on Groundhog Day, and you’ll be entered to win a special Groundhog Prize Package!

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 and possible interactions with visitors. Keepers comment Gordy has a “goofy and friendly personality,” traits the animal staff hoped for when he was acquired by the Zoo.

Groundhog DayDuring the summer months Gordy is a participant in the Stackner Animal Encounter zookeeper presentations, when visitors can get an up-close look at him, and learn more about his natural history, behaviors and “personality.”

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.

On Sunday, February 2, visitors are invited to celebrate Groundhog Day at the Milwaukee County Zoo and watch as Gordy emerges from his “burrow,” to make his furry forecast.  Activities take place at 10:30 a.m., in the Northwestern Mutual Family Farm.

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