Tulsa Zoo prairie dogs agree with Punxsutawney Phil


Thursday, February 2nd 2006, 10:24 am
By: News On 6


Thursday was Groundhog Day. The day when we throw scientific weather forecasting out the window and leave the prognostication to a sleeping groundhog in Pennsylvania.

Not to be outdone, Tulsa has is own fury-some forecasters out at the Tulsa Zoo. News on 6 reporter Rick Wells checked in with them and says those guys in the Punxsutawney groundhog club really get stirred up about this.

Around here, Groundhog Day is a little more low key. The Tulsa Zoo did not have nearly the crowd they get up in Pennsylvania, of course, they don't have a groundhog. Here the weather prognosticator on Groundhog Day is a prairie dog.

Pam Bingham with the Tulsa Zoo: "Prairie Dogs are most affected by the weather conditions, cold rainy days they don't come out." Smart enough to stay in out of the rain I guess, although they're distant cousins of groundhogs, they don’t hibernate. No need to jerk them awake from a long winters nap, prairie dogs come out on their own. Not one but several. Here in Tulsa the prairie dogs are not the only game in town.

Nearby turkeys appear to resent somebody gobbling up the publicity. We're just curious about what's ahead with the weather. In Punxsutawney, Phil got together to discuss it with his inner circle and. “Today on the Knob as I'm doing my job, I don't like this likeness of me, it's my shadow I see." Same here, prairie dog sees its shadow and so did the nearby peacock. Pretty unanimous.

According to the legend it means six more weeks of winter. Pam Bingham: "I could use 6 more weeks of 60 degree weather." Yeah me too. I wonder if I'm ever going use my barbeque grill again. In truth, winter isn't officially over until March 20th, the first day of Spring.