On Saturday Janice and I went to Winchester to meet one of the town's newest celebrities, Winchester Phil. He was going to be predicting the length of winter on Monday and had been gradually woken up by his keeper for the event, being moved from his 40° hibernation temperature to a 50° environment. It took him 30 hours to wake up. By then he was starving and ready to meet his fans. Usually groundhogs start hibernating just before Christmas and then awake around now. But Phil doesn't know he's a groundhog. He was raised illegally by humans and then confiscated by animal welfare and is looked after by Valley Wildlife Care. At about 7 years old, he's spent his life as an education animal and is well used to being around humans. He should live to about 10 years while in captivity but in the wild with the risk of predators, his life span would be around 3 years.
And bless his heart, he must have loved his attention that day as on the 2nd, he predicted that spring would come early to VA, see here.
4 weeks ago