Groundhog Day crisis looms in Wis. city: No groundhog

Sun Prairie, Wis., near Madison, needs a groundhog if there’s going to be a groundhog day in the city that’s tried mightily since 1948 to be the Midwest’s Punxatawney.

The city has had its problems in recent years. Last year, Jimmy the Groundhog, who actually resided in La Crosse, Wis., didn’t have time to look for his shadow because he wanted a piece of the mayor’s ear.

That was Jimmy’s first groundhog day appearance; it was also his last. He was released to the wild after his handler was informed that it’s illegal to keep a groundhog.

And thus the problem. Sun Prairie doesn’t have a groundhog for groundhog day, reports today.

“What Sun Prairie needs is a bred groundhog that is hand-reared so that it’s comfortable around people and not super scared,” organizer Ti Gauger said. “But the process for getting that is just a little bit longer than we had anticipated. So we’re looking for some help and support in making sure this continues.”

She says if they find a groundhog this year, it’ll be kept in a cage.