Unlike Punxsutawney Phil, Tumbleweed sees no shadow

May 28, 2010 3:41:34 PM PDT
Spring is in the air, according to one furry forecaster at Brookfield Zoo. The other one slept through Groundhog Day. Tumbleweed, one of the zoo's two groundhogs, didn't see her shadow on Tuesday when she came out of hibernation to enjoy a sweet potato and carrot-shaped cake. That's good news- and the opposite of what the most famous groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil in Pennsylvania, predicted. According to legend, if a groundhog sees a shadow, there will be six more weeks of spring; if it doesn't, spring is just around the corner.

Meanwhile, the zoo's other groundhog, Cloudy, didn't even come out of hibernation to give winter a chance.

It's the second time in her three year career that Tumbleweed has predicted an early spring. Cloudy has been predicting since 2001.

During hibernation, a groundhog's body temperature drops to 38-degrees and it takes a breath about once a minute. Also, its heard slows to only four to six beats a minute. According to a release from Brookfield Zoo, after temperatures warm, groundhogs can take several hours to rouse from their slumbers and interrupting hibernation can interfere with their metabolism. Therefore, zookeepers will not force them to come out of hibernation before they're ready.

About 300 people were at Brookfield Zoo's Groundhog Day event.


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