Oregon Zoo's FuFu the hedgehog calls for an early spring - KPTV - FOX 12

Oregon Zoo's FuFu the hedgehog calls for an early spring

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Time to hang up the heavy winter coats. Punxsutawney Phil, the groundhog, may be calling for six more weeks of winter, but FuFu, an African pygmy hedgehog at the Oregon Zoo, did not see her shadow this morning, meaning an early spring for the Pacific Northwest.

If Fufu’s cuteness counts for anything, hedgehogs are the real weather experts for the February tradition, according to animal curator Tanya Paul, who oversees the zoo's hedgehog family.

"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. But FuFu is bringing the holiday back to its origins."

This year’s weather has been warmer than normal with this week’s 7-day forecast rising to high 50s.

"Last year FuFu predicted an early spring, which was fairly accurate for this region. It was bitterly cold on the day she made her prediction, but mild temperatures returned in less than a week and continued into March,” said Paul.

Let’s hope she’s right for 2018.

This morning at Fox 12 we had a prairie dog named Herbie also predict an early spring.

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