Say What, Punxsutawney Phil?

By on February 2, 2009 with 0 Comments By Wayne Pacelle

This morning, Punxsutawney Phil awoke from his torpor, saw his shadow, and scrambled back in his burrow, leading human observers to predict six more weeks of winter. A celebrity prognosticator, Phil has a safe home atop Gobblers Knob in Punxsutawney, Pa. But in communities across America, some of Phil’s groundhog brethren don’t feel the same adoration.

Groundhogs (or woodchucks, as they’re also known) poke their heads from winter hibernation and then, in March, when they’ve shaken off their slumber, they get to breeding. While love may be their first priority, they also spend lots of time doing what groundhogs do—invading gardens, digging burrows, and otherwise frustrating property owners and landscapers.

But there are simple, humane ways to discourage these behaviors. Our Wild Neighbors staff has posted helpful information on, along with a whole pool of information for peacefully coexisting with them and with other species.

In celebration of Groundhog Day, let’s show a little appreciation for these fantastic animals. Share our tip sheet with anyone you know who’s complained of a groundhog in their garden. Then submit a caption (you can offer a comment or send an email) for this close-up of Punxsutawney Phil, courtesy of For ideas, see these past winning captions for office dog Piper and a pig and her piglet.

Punxsutawney Phil

Wildlife/Marine Mammals

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