05 February 2008
As the great entertainer, Jimmy Durante, used to say "everybody wants to get into the act."
An excerpt from the web site, news.scotsman.com, below - and this sweet photograph above, which appeared there - has me convinced that Groundhog envy is all the rage. The web site reports that this squirrel, a souslik, is a prognosticating Eurasian ground squirrel valued by the local zoo.
And you can easily see why this little creature is prized. Apparently too, like so many of the souslik's American cousins, it is also threatened with a shrinking population.
Here is the excerpt from the article that accompanied the photo:
Edinburgh Zoo's resident weather experts are a family of European sousliks, a type of ground squirrel and close relatives of the groundhog.And on Saturday the animals decided it was too cold to even emerge from their burrow – which is being taken as a sign the recent cold snap is set to continue.The US is also in for a long winter after Punxsutawney Phil, which featured in the hit movie Groundhog Day starring Bill Murray, emerged on Saturday and saw his shadow.
Edinburgh's version might not attract crowds as large as those that gather in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania every year. But Graham Catlow, animal department manager at Edinburgh Zoo, said the sousliks' predictions would become a regular attraction."We've had them for 18 months, but I don't think anyone was really aware of this last year," he said. "This year the weather was just too cold so they decided to stay in bed, which is probably a pretty good sign that we are in for some more bad weather."