Move over, Punxsutawney Phil: Oregon Zoo's FuFu says spring is coming soon

EUGENE, Ore. — Thank you, FuFu!

Punxsutawney Phil saw his shawdow, calling for 6 more weeks of winter.

But FuFu the African pygmy hedgehog at the Oregon Zoo disagrees.

She did not see her shadow Thursday morning, the Zoo said.

So ... spring it on!

But wait:

A hedgehog? Isn't this Groundhog's Day?

“Groundhogs like Punxsutawney Phil are relative newcomers to the game,” animal curator Tanya 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.”

So we can trust FuFu, right?

“The zoo’s hedgehogs have fared slightly better than Punxsutawney Phil — which admittedly is not that great,” Paul said. “Last year though, our hedgehog Velda did predict an early spring, which was pretty accurate for this region. We had the warmest February and April on record.”

According to StormFax Weather Almanac, Phil’s predictions have been correct about 39 percent of the time, the Zoo said.

Hedgehogs at the Oregon Zoo have a 50 percent accuracy rate.

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