Local Nature Center Wins PETA Prize for Retiring Groundhog

For Immediate Release:
February 7, 2022

Megan Wiltsie 202-483-7382

Charlotte, N.C. – For making the noble decision to retire groundhog Queen Charlotte from sham weather predictions and possibly unappreciated public appearances—and for choosing not to obtain a woodchuck successor—Discovery Place Nature has won a Proggy Award (“Proggy” is for “progress”) from PETA.

“By letting Queen Charlotte enjoy her realm in the peace and quiet she deserves, Discovery Place Nature is sending the message that groundhogs aren’t meteorologists or holiday props—they’re wild animals who do not belong to us,” says PETA President Ingrid Newkirk. “PETA thanks the center both for taking in an ailing animal and for not perpetuating Groundhog Day spectacles.”

As PETA has noted in appeals to organizers of other large Groundhog Day events—including in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, and Milltown, New Jersey—those events’ practices of dragging groundhogs out of hibernation and subjecting them to loud crowds, bright lights, and human handling are deeply distressing to these timid prey animals. Instead, groundhogs should be left to forage, burrow, and breathe fresh air in peace.

Discovery Place Nature will receive a framed certificate and delicious vegan chocolates as well as a big bag of walnuts for Queen Charlotte to enjoy.

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 PETA.org 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