BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Jamie Bill, the Birmingham Zoo’s resident groundhog, will take his namesake day off this year.
Jamie Bill, better known as Birmingham Bill, is still hibernating, and zoo officials told CBS 42 that it’s best for Bill’s health to be allowed to wake up on his own, even if that means he won’t get the chance to search for his shadow on Groundhog Day.
“We let him decide if he would like to wake up for Groundhog Day or not. Right now, he is still hibernating, so it is best for his system to continue to do so until he wakes up naturally,” Rebekah Lane, a Zoo manager said in a written statement.
Lane said that groundhogs sometimes wake up around Feb. 2 to look for a mate, which has led to the tradition of using them to make weather predictions.
“All different types of animals are used all around the world for weather predictions,” Lane said. “Even here at the zoo, we have used different animals such as an opossum and owl for Groundhog Day during years that Jamie Bill was still asleep.”