Urge Ohio Radio Station to Make Annual ‘Buckeye Chuck’ Event Groundhog-Free

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According to Groundhog Day folklore, if groundhogs see their shadow when they come out of their burrow on February 2, there will be six more weeks of winter. If they don’t see their shadow, spring will arrive early. But this is just a myth, of course—even though groundhogs are intelligent and self-aware, they can’t predict the weather. Still, events across the country celebrate this tired tradition by dragging sensitive groundhogs out of hibernation and displaying them as props in front of rowdy crowds.

Marion, Ohio, radio station WMRN-AM hosts an annual Groundhog Day event, and for years it used a live groundhog (known as Buckeye Chuck) supplied by Kokas Exotics—which is only licensed to breed and sell animals, not exhibit them. After PETA alerted the station that harassing a groundhog in a stressful, unfamiliar environment is cruel and that using Kokas would be illegal, WMRN didn’t feature a live groundhog at its 2023 event—for the first time in over 30 years!

Buckeye Chuck’s reprieve is a small victory, and now PETA is calling on the radio station to commit to making all future Groundhog Day events animal-free and never exploit live groundhogs again.

Groundhogs are shy, sensitive individuals who live in underground burrows that can span many acres, and using them as props for folklore-based events is no cause for celebration—it’s a cruel form of speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview.

Please politely ask WMRN to make all future celebrations animal-free, such as by using a costumed mascot, and to continue its Groundhog Day tradition in a progressive, innovative way that isn’t harmful to animals.


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