Chuck Tradition! PETA ‘Groundhog’ to Push for a Free Phil

For Immediate Release:
January 28, 2022

Brooke Rossi 202-483-7382

Punxsutawney, Pa. – On Tuesday, pounding on the walls of a glass box a safe distance from the walls of Punxsutawney Phil’s cramped Plexiglas enclosure at a local library, a PETA “groundhog” will highlight the importance of releasing Phil (and his companion, Phyllis) to a reputable sanctuary. The action comes after a recent PETA letter to the president of The Punxsutawney Groundhog Club that points out that this tired tradition of pretending that Phil is a meteorologist deprives him of a life, preventing him from foraging, digging, burrowing, smelling fresh air, and simply living as a groundhog should.

When:    Tuesday, February 1, 12 noon

Where:    282 E. Mahoning St., Punxsutawney

“As long as he’s trapped inside a Plexiglas box, Phil will never be able to delight in the spring season that his captors pretend he can predict,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “PETA is pushing for Phil to be retired to a sanctuary, where he can enjoy a good and quiet life away from bright lights, noisy crowds, and the stress of being jostled around, which he should never be subjected to.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview.

For more information, please visit or follow the group on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.


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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind