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PETA calling for groundhog 'Punxsutawney Phil' to be replaced by robot

Posted at 1:35 PM, Jan 29, 2020

Animal rights group PETA is calling for an end to the Punxsutawney Phil Groundhog Day tradition.

Every year on Feb. 2, the infamous groundhog is removed from his hole and held up to see if he has a shadow, thus predicting what the next six weeks of weather will hold.

"Times change. Traditions evolve. It's long overdue for Phil to be retired," the group said in a letter to the president of the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club.

PETA says being in close proximity to the public causes groundhogs great stress, and that Phil's current life of "being relegated to a library habitat for other days of the year" is no kind of life for him.

Instead, the animal rights group suggests using an animatronic groundhog with artificial intelligence that could actually predict the weather. This way, they say you could keep Punxsutawney at the center of Groundhog Day in a more progressive way.

PETA also offered to make recommendations for a sanctuary that would welcome Phil.