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Groundhog Day at the Milwaukee County Zoo

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MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Will spring come early? Or will we have another 6 weeks of winter? 

According to Punxsutawney Phil spring is right around the corner.

But here in Milwaukee we have our own Groundhog’s Day tradition. Crowds gathered to see a groundhog named “Wynter” make her prediction.

Belting out songs while adorned in furry flair, many excited folks look forward to Groundhog Day. “I love Groundhog Day. It’s my favorite holiday,” said Sue Nemacheck.

She and her group came to the Milwaukee County Zoo to catch a glimpse of the special rodent. 

She said, “It just started as something to do in the middle of winter. Groundhogs are fun and cute and his name is Phil and he’s wearing a coat because its cold out.”

Braving the cold--from babies to adults, dozens of people surrounded little Wynter’s  cage.

Jenny Diliberti, the public relations coordinator at the Zoo, said, “She is a rehabilitated animal which means that she was actually found orphaned on the roadside and came to us.”

The 5-year-old is famously known for predicting if there will be an early end to winter. After emerging from hibernation, she made an appearance...then it was the moment everyone was waiting for.

No shadow, which means an early spring!

Before returning to her burrow Wynter scurried around for about 15 minutes, and she wasn’t the only one happy to be out.

Mary Marcou said, “After Christmas you’re kind of in that blah what am I going to do mode, it’s the perfect day to say hey let’s go out and have some fun.”

The news brightened everyone’s day.

Bill Nemacheck said fun in the sun is just beginning, “No shadow, spring I can’t wait! It’s going to be great, we should have a good summer then I hope.”

Hundreds of folks got to enjoy the Zoo after Wynter’s appearance.

It was Family Free day sponsored by Fox6 and North Shore Bank.

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