Oregon Zoo hedgehog sees what Punxsutawney Phil sees: No shadow - KPTV - FOX 12

Oregon Zoo hedgehog sees what Punxsutawney Phil sees: No shadow

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Oregon Zoo's hedgehog Velda did not see a shadow Tuesday, signaling an early spring. Oregon Zoo's hedgehog Velda did not see a shadow Tuesday, signaling an early spring.
Oregon Zoo staff said their hedgehogs have fared "slightly better" than Punxsutawney Phil overall. Oregon Zoo staff said their hedgehogs have fared "slightly better" than Punxsutawney Phil overall.
Tuesday was the forecasting debut for Velda, one of five hedgehogs born at the zoo in 2014.  (Photo: Oregon Zoo) Tuesday was the forecasting debut for Velda, one of five hedgehogs born at the zoo in 2014. (Photo: Oregon Zoo)
PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

The Oregon Zoo's hedgehog Velda is in agreement with fellow weather prognosticator Punxsutawney Phil.

They are both calling for an early spring.

The famous groundhog Punxsutawney Phil failed to see his shadow at dawn Tuesday in Pennsylvania, signaling an early spring.

At the Oregon Zoo, Velda also did not spot a shadow, meaning an early spring might be in store for the Pacific Northwest, as well.

Zoo staff said their hedgehogs have fared "slightly better" than Punxsutawney Phil overall, including last year's shadow-seeking showdown.

In 2015, the Oregon Zoo hedgehog named Whiskers J. did not see a shadow, while Phil did. Oregon ended up experiencing its warmest winter on record.

According to records from StormFax Weather Almanac, Phil's predictions have been correct about 39 percent of the time. Oregon Zoo hedgehogs have been slightly more successful with a 45 percent accuracy rate.

Tuesday was the forecasting debut for Velda, one of five hedgehogs born at the zoo in 2014.

"Hedgehogs are the real weather experts of the animal world," said zoo curator Michael Illig. "Punxsutawney Phil and his ilk are relative newcomers to the game. When European immigrants to the United States realized their new home didn't have hedgehogs, they turned to the groundhog out of necessity. But Velda is bringing the holiday back to its origins."

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