Oregon Zoo hedgehog predicts an early spring - KPTV - FOX 12

Oregon Zoo hedgehog predicts an early spring

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It looks like it could be an early spring for the Portland metro area, according to FuFu the hedgehog.

While many Americans pay attention to weather forecasting from Punxsutawney Phil on Groundhog’s Day, the Oregon Zoo instead celebrates Hedgehog Day on February 2 each year.

On Thursday, near the zoo’s soon-to-open education center, Oregon Zoo Animal Curator Tanya Paul interpreted that FuFu predicted an early spring for 2017. The African pygmy hedgehog didn’t see her shadow.

Earlier in the morning, Phil predicted the opposite forecast by seeing his shadow for six more weeks of winter. But FuFu could be in the right based on past Oregon Zoo hedgehogs’ predictions, which have a better track record than the forecasts from Phil.

According to data from StormFax Weather Almanac, Phil’s predictions have been correct about 39 percent of the time while Oregon Zoo hedgehogs have had a 50 percent accuracy rate.

“Groundhogs like Punxsutawney Phil are relative newcomers to the game,” Paul said. “According to folklore, the Europeans who originated the tradition originally used hedgehogs. When they immigrated to the United States, they realized their new home didn’t have hedgehogs, so they turned to the groundhog out of necessity.”

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