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The zoo says its hedgehogs are accurate 50% of the time, which is better than Punxsutawney Phil.

COURTESY PHOTO - Nancy the hedgehog prepares to make her weather prediction on Saturday, Feb. 2, also known as Groundhog Day. Spring is coming.

Well, maybe. That's the well-researched opinion of one local animal, at least.

It may strike the reader as eerily familiar, but Saturday, Feb. 2 is Groundhog Day — the one day of the year when humans turn to their wilder brethren for the weather report.

The Oregon Zoo doesn't have a groundhog display, but it does know a bite-sized hedgehog named Nancy.

Nancy emerged from her den (actually a handler's carrier) at 10 a.m. on Saturday. A crowd of children and adults oohed and aahed, and while Nancy didn't make a peep, the zookeeper was able to interpret her silent prognostication.

And the results: No shadow, and an early spring!

So is it really time to stop taking those Vitamin D supplements? According to the Oregon Zoo, the hedgehogs here are accurate about 50 percent of the time.

"The zoo's hedgehogs have fared slightly better than Punxsutawney Phil — which admittedly is not that great," animal curator Tanya Paul said. "Last year FuFu predicted an early spring, which was not very accurate for this region. We had that big snowstorm right after Presidents Day and had to close the zoo for a few days."


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