Celebrity groundhog Punxsutawney Phil makes escape attempts
Who wouldn't love being stuck in a tree stump once a year, only to be pulled out in front of a crowd of noisy, weather-obsessed revelers at an ungodly early-morning hour?
Apparently Punxsutawney Phil, America's favorite season-predicting rodent -- and we can't say we blame him. In the past two weeks, Phil has made three impressive escape attempts, the Associated Press reports.
Phil, who during the off season is housed in a man-made den in the Punxsutawney Library, has somehow found a means of entry into the library's ceiling. Once there, the celebrodent travels about 50 feet before dropping into the library's offices.
Phil has been unhurt in each escape attempt so far, but library workers are trying to curb his adventuring for fear that he could be injured in a fall from the ceiling.
The town of Punxsutawney began holding its Groundhog Day celebrations in the 1880s. According to the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club's website, "There has only been one Punxsutawney Phil. He has been making predictions for over 120 years!" (The secret to his longevity, apparently, is a closely guarded "elixir of life" recipe -- which, we imagine, would also prove useful in case of escape-related accident.)
-- Lindsay Barnett
Photo: Handler Ben Hughes holds Phil after his 2009 prediction of six more weeks of winter. Credit: Carolyn Kaster / Associated Press.