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Forecast for Groundhog Day: pain

2-2-04 Brookfield Zoo...Groundhog Day feature.....Stormy Groundhog leans out his wooden box get peek visitors. Stormy reportedly did not see his

2-2-04 Brookfield Zoo...Groundhog Day feature.....Stormy the Groundhog leans out of his wooden box to get a peek at visitors. Stormy reportedly did not see his shadow which means spring is "just around the corner".....Rich Hein/Sun-Times

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Updated: March 3, 2012 11:42AM



NEW YORK — They’ve bitten their handlers and refused to budge from their beds. And it turns out, groundhogs are not that good at predicting the weather.

“Of course, the groundhog’s most glaring offense is that its legendary weather predictions are complete bunk,” said Linda Lombardi, a former zookeeper who has a blog and a book called Animals Behaving Badly.

To make matters worse, they can be unpleasant to work with.

As always, the biggest Groundhog Day ruckus (Thursday will be the 126th) centers on prima donna Punxsutawney Phil in Pennsylvania. But not even Phil has kept his pointy nose clean of misdeeds.

“Phil is truly not as warm and cuddly as perhaps you would want him to be. Phil is, in fact, a wild animal,” said Mike Johnston, vice president of Phil’s Inner Circle in Punxsutawney, where Groundhog Day began.

“He will make his feelings known with a nip, maybe a couple of nips. If his handler continues to do things that displease him he’s likely to nail you,” Johnston said. AP



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