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Punxsutawney Phil’s babies’ names revealed

By Associated Press
Published: May 17, 2024, 6:40am

PUNXSUTAWNEY, Pa. (AP) — Punxsutawney Phil’s offspring now have names that just might help the famed weather-forecasting groundhog to predict when spring will begin.

Phil’s human handlers chose Mother’s Day to announce that the two kits born this spring to Phil and his partner, Phyllis, are named Sunny and Shadow. Sunny is a female, Shadow a male.

Each spring, Phil makes a prediction about the length of the remaining winter. According to tradition, if he sees his shadow there will be six more weeks of cold. This year, Phil did not see his shadow and therefore predicted an early spring.

“These kits of his are not replacements, they’re not the heir apparent,” Dan McGinley, vice president of the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club Inner Circle, said in a phone interview Monday. “Sunny and Shadow will not be part of the ceremony — it’s still Phil’s job. There’s still only one Punxsutawney Phil.”

The club received hundreds of suggestions for the pups’ names. The final decision emerged after a one-on-one between Phil and the club’s president, Tom Dunkel.

“Today the first family of groundhogs has grown, Punxsutawney Phil and wife Phyllis have two kits of their own,” McGinley said in a video on social media.