For Immediate Release:
January 28, 2021
Megan Wiltsie 202-483-7382
Punxsutawney, Pa. – Because The Punxsutawney Groundhog Club is still planning to use a live groundhog to “predict” the weather on February 2, PETA has placed two billboards in the area urging everyone to chuck the old tradition, as the woodchucks would if they could. Only a bona fide meteorologist should be asked to predict the length of winter, and if it makes the event more exciting to have them dragged out of a hole, PETA will gladly dig one for the event.
“PETA is calling on The Punxsutawney Groundhog Club either to switch it up with a real meteorologist or an animatronic groundhog or to end this tired old sideshow altogether,” says PETA President Ingrid Newkirk. “Punxsutawney Phil is a vulnerable individual, not a toy, and should be respected enough to be left in peace.”
PETA notes that groundhogs are vulnerable prey animals who naturally avoid humans and enjoy digging, foraging, and hibernating in burrows that can span many acres, but the Punxsutawney groundhogs are displayed year-round in the basement of the local library. On February 2, they’re exposed to the lights of flashing cameras, human handling, and the confusion and stress of large, screaming crowds—they likely think they are going to die.
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.
PETA’s billboards appear in the following locations:
- 1099-757 S. Main St. Ext., near the PA 436 bypass
- 1085-1001 Colonel Drake Hwy., near the Punxsutawney Country Club