Friday, August 18, 2017

Yekaterinburg zoo hedgehog predicts more winter weather

To commemorate what the Romans traditionally celebrated as Hedgehog Day, a long-eared hedgehog at the Yekaterinburg zoo predicted unstable weather on Thursday.

In the United States, February 2 marks Groundhog Day, in which Pennsylvania's legendary Punxsutawney Phil comes out of his lair and makes a weather prediction. Legend has it that if the animal sees its shadow and casts it on a sunny day, winter will last an additional six weeks. If there is no shadow seen, spring is approaching, Voice of Russia reports.

Because there is no groundhog in the Yekaterinburg zoo, the facility chooses a new animal to serve as the weather forecaster for the city. Button, a long-eared hedgehog, served as this year's meteorologist, in part because the Romans used to celebrate Hedgehog Day on February 2.

Button had a special open-air cage built for it with two bowls of food. Each bowl had a different label on it, one for warm weather and the other for cold weather. The bowls were placed on opposite walls of the cage.

Because Button did not settle for one bowl and kept running back and forth between the cups of food, the zoo has declared that Button's prediction is for unstable weather, Voice of Russia reports.