Milwaukee Cancels Groundhogs Day

Yes, you read that headline correctly; Milwaukee has canceled Groundhogs Day 2008.

Why?

The groundhog died.

Seriously.

The groundhog at the Milwaukee County Zoo (what is considered by many, one of the premiere zoos in the country) died in June.

June!

Walnut was euthanized and the zoo is now groundhogless.

And they haven’t gotten a replacement yet.

It’s not like groundhogs, or woodchucks, don’t simply run rampant in the wild here in Wisconsin. We had a family of them living in our backyard at our old place! It’s not like the zoo simply couldn’t catch one that is probably already roaming loose on the grounds. Heck, they even had the Groundhogs Club of Pewaukee volunteer to trap one.

Coincidently, it’s the Groundhogs Club of Pewaukee’s 100th anniversary. They’ve been coming to the zoo on Groundhogs Day since 1946. But despite the big event and the huge celebration they had planned for that 100th, the zoo remains adamant. They don’t want any old groundhog; they want a friendly one.

The groundhog, you see, is used at the Education Center where kids can meet animals up close and personal. Last thing the zoo wants is a kid getting mauled by an unruly groundhog.

And yet, from what I’ve heard, Walnut wasn’t the most huggable of animals either.

Doesn’t it seem odd that a world-class zoo, one that’s had rare albino tigers, had visiting pandas, and had the world’s largest lowland gorilla, Samson, can’t find one freaking friendly groundhog?

I hate to point it out; I am after all a huge fan of the zoo and a member of the Zoological Society. It’s one of my favorite places to take the kids and I’ve been going there since, well, forever, but the zoo dropped the ball on this one and now there won’t be any Groundhogs Day in Milwaukee.

And as a result, the city of Milwaukee gets another black eye and ends up looking bush-league. Again.

But not having Groundhogs Day might not be all bad, after all with no Groundhogs Day, maybe then no one will air that silly movie with Bill Murray. I can dream, can’t I?

-30-

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24 thoughts on “Milwaukee Cancels Groundhogs Day

  1. When they do find a replacement groundhog, please remind them to put up signs not to taunt the animals. Seems to be working in SF.

    I’ll cross my fingers the movie doesn’t run this year. 😉

  2. When they do find a replacement groundhog, please remind them to put up signs not to taunt the animals. Seems to be working in SF.I’ll cross my fingers the movie doesn’t run this year. 😉

  3. It’s a nice dream. Stupid movie…

    I have very fond memories of the Milwaukee zoo. I used to go there lots and lots, when my family lived in the city. Many happy trips there, as a child. Of course, now they haven’t got a groundhog, I cannot fathom going.

    the Twin Cities have a couple of really nice zoos, a small free one, and then the big expensive complicated one. Both are worth spending time and money at. (The small free one, which isn’t all that small,) also has a big botanical garden and a TEA garden, which is gorgeous and fascinating.

    Come up here, Ed, we’ll make a day of it.

  4. It’s a nice dream. Stupid movie…I have very fond memories of the Milwaukee zoo. I used to go there lots and lots, when my family lived in the city. Many happy trips there, as a child. Of course, now they haven’t got a groundhog, I cannot fathom going.the Twin Cities have a couple of really nice zoos, a small free one, and then the big expensive complicated one. Both are worth spending time and money at. (The small free one, which isn’t all that small,) also has a big botanical garden and a TEA garden, which is gorgeous and fascinating.Come up here, Ed, we’ll make a day of it.

  5. Of course, it’s not “Camp Snoopy” anymore, for whatever legal reason. It’s now “Park At Mall Of America,” which is about as catchy as Sars.

    Off the top of my head, I don’t know how close they are. It’s not too bad, depending on how you catch the big-city traffic, as I’m sure you know from Milwaukee. I’ll ask my wife about times, one of these days.

    They aren’t much fun in the winter. Early spring is perfect, because you get the more arctic animals like the polar bears, and the penguins and the like who are still active and bustling, and the other animals are perky too.

    Aggh. Now I want to go to the zoo, damn it.

    Legoland is to die for. And the mall itself is a delight. We haven’t been since Zach was born.

    I have completely hijacked your comment trail, I didn’t mean to.

  6. Of course, it’s not “Camp Snoopy” anymore, for whatever legal reason. It’s now “Park At Mall Of America,” which is about as catchy as Sars.Off the top of my head, I don’t know how close they are. It’s not too bad, depending on how you catch the big-city traffic, as I’m sure you know from Milwaukee. I’ll ask my wife about times, one of these days. They aren’t much fun in the winter. Early spring is perfect, because you get the more arctic animals like the polar bears, and the penguins and the like who are still active and bustling, and the other animals are perky too. Aggh. Now I want to go to the zoo, damn it.Legoland is to die for. And the mall itself is a delight. We haven’t been since Zach was born.I have completely hijacked your comment trail, I didn’t mean to.

  7. I loves me a good trip to the zoo. We have two here, one in Seattle and one in Tacoma, both are really top notch.

    But the one in Tacoma has this shark feature, where you walk in to this reef setting and you can stand right up against glass that’s three times taller than you, and stare into the murky water, then notice a submarine with teeth swimming right at you!

    The tank is full of sharks, but they have a couple of massive ones in there that – were I to see one of these while scuba diving – I would pee my wetsuit.

  8. I loves me a good trip to the zoo. We have two here, one in Seattle and one in Tacoma, both are really top notch.But the one in Tacoma has this shark feature, where you walk in to this reef setting and you can stand right up against glass that’s three times taller than you, and stare into the murky water, then notice a submarine with teeth swimming right at you!The tank is full of sharks, but they have a couple of massive ones in there that – were I to see one of these while scuba diving – I would pee my wetsuit.

  9. Kristine – Shark tank! I wanna see it! We have a lot of big sharks in the Mall of America aquarium (which we keep buying memberships to, even though we can’t afford ’em) and they’re gorgeous, gorgeous animals.

  10. Kristine – Shark tank! I wanna see it! We have a lot of big sharks in the Mall of America aquarium (which we keep buying memberships to, even though we can’t afford ’em) and they’re gorgeous, gorgeous animals.

  11. Our zoo just had an exhibit this past year that they had these large pools, only a few feet high, and they were filled with sting rays and sharks and you could reach in and pet the sharks and hopefully come back with all your fingers. My kids thought that was great. I don’t think the exhibitors were too thrilled with me holding my 7-year-old over the tank so he could reach the sharks though.

  12. Our zoo just had an exhibit this past year that they had these large pools, only a few feet high, and they were filled with sting rays and sharks and you could reach in and pet the sharks and hopefully come back with all your fingers. My kids thought that was great. I don’t think the exhibitors were too thrilled with me holding my 7-year-old over the tank so he could reach the sharks though.

  13. I think you should stage your own Groundhog Day. And YouTube it for our enjoyment. You know, go out to the woods, find a groundhog and invite him home, feed him a nice dinner and look at his shadow the next day. Pretty please…. 🙂

  14. I think you should stage your own Groundhog Day. And YouTube it for our enjoyment. You know, go out to the woods, find a groundhog and invite him home, feed him a nice dinner and look at his shadow the next day. Pretty please…. 🙂

  15. Wildlife in Need Center Saves Groundhog Day!! The Wildlife In Need Center in conjunction with the Milwaukee Groundhog Club will be having festivities on Saturday, February 2, at the Elks Lodge in Waukesha on Springdale Road at 11 am. The event will feature Winnie, their resident groundhog, to make this years predictions! Hooray for The Wildlife in Need Center.

  16. Wildlife in Need Center Saves Groundhog Day!! The Wildlife In Need Center in conjunction with the Milwaukee Groundhog Club will be having festivities on Saturday, February 2, at the Elks Lodge in Waukesha on Springdale Road at 11 am. The event will feature Winnie, their resident groundhog, to make this years predictions! Hooray for The Wildlife in Need Center.

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