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Prairie Dog Day
by Stormy on January 24, 2010

Did you know that the Marmot cousin Prairie Dog has his own special day?

No one can really claim this to be a huge holiday, but the Sunday before Groundhog Day is the annual Prairie Dog Day. At least it is at the Denver Zoo. The Denver Zoo doesn't have a groundhog or a marmot, but they do have a prairie dog colony and make use of these critters just before the cross-quarter day known as Groundhog Day. Groundhog Day is a cross-quarter day which falls between the Winter Solstice and the Vernal Equinox. In the old world it was believed that some animals have the ability to predict the future and the groundhog, a Marmota monax, is one of such sages. Some of the more famous prognosticators are Punxsutawney Phil, General Beauregard Lee and Wiarton Willie. I don't think anyone really knows what prairie dogs predict, but on January 31 the Denver Zoo is promising a festival featuring lectures and exhibits and an art contest to celebrate the prairie dog and their societal contributions and I fully intend to be there to support my cousins. And don't forget, Groundhog Day is on the horizon and we will be providing some marmot coverage to predict the state of winter.

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