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Groundhog Day Celebration 2013

Jan. 17, 2013

Who: The Wildlife In Need Center and the Milwaukee Groundhog Club
What: Groundhog’s Day Celebration and prognostication of spring’s arrival
When: Saturday, February 2nd, 2013
Time: 10 A.M – 12 P.M.
Where: Elks Lodge, 2301 Springdale Road, Waukesha, WI 53186
Contact: Leslie Kiehl, 262-965-3090 x 103 or Joan Rudnitzki x 104

Waukesha- The Wildlife In Need Center and the Milwaukee Groundhog Club invites all members of the community - big and small - to join in the 2013 Groundhog Day Celebration and the Milwaukee Groundhog Club’s 104th Anniversary. The celebration will begin with a short 15 minute ceremony at 10 A.M. that highlights Waldo’s emergence from his burrow with his weather prediction. Following the ceremony the Wildlife In Need Center will hold a Meet and Greet. The Meet and Greet will be held until noon and will include all of WINC’s educational ambassadors. This is one of the rare times that all WINC’s ambassadors appear at the same event.

Waldo, the Woodchuck was brought to WINC during the summer of 2008 after being rescued by a couple spending their vacation in an RV. Although the WINC staff tried diligently throughout the remainder of the summer and fall to “wild” him up for release, they were unsuccessful. The mission of WINC is to provide wildlife rehabilitation to Wisconsin wildlife with the intent to release back to their native habitat, conduct research designed to further the positive impact of rehabilitation, and provide quality community education programs and services. In certain circumstances animals cannot be released due to physical or mental complications. Waldo like many of WINC’s other educational ambassadors was too dependent on human involvement and could not properly care for himself in the wild. In Waldo’s case, due to his youth, health and charming personality, he was a great candidate for becoming an educational ambassador. He has been the star of the Groundhog Day Celebration for the past four years.

The celebration of Groundhog Day arose from a variety of different cultures and traditions. It gradually became a time when both people as well as animals emerged from their winter slumber in hopes for the emergence of spring’s warmth. Recently it has been discovered that the real reason Groundhogs emerge from hibernation in February is to scout for a mate. The males will visit females in their burrows in February to become properly acquainted with their mate by March. Groundhog Day is held annually on February 2nd which coincidentally happens to be the midpoint between winter solstice and the spring equinox.

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