Jacksonville Zoo's porcupine Spike predicts early spring

Rodent contradicts famous groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil

By Crystal Moyer - Traffic/reporter
Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Move over, Punxsutawney Phil. The Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens has a fortune-telling critter of its own.

And unlike his more famous counterpart, Spike the porcupine predicted on Groundhog Day that an early spring lies ahead of us.

The African crested porcupine gave its forecast late Friday morning, hours after Phil emerged from his temporary burrow and called for six more weeks of winter.

According to Dan Maloney, the zoo’s deputy director for animal care and conservation, porcupines get right to the point when it comes to their awareness of weather and their surroundings.

Maloney said the animals share savannas with major predators and endure extreme weather swings, such as drought and dust storms. “If they don’t pay attention, they don’t survive,” he said.

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