GRIZZLY BEARS STAND IN FOR GROUNDHOGS AT OKC ZOO’S ANNUAL CELEBRATION
January 29, 2019
At the Oklahoma City Zoo, Groundhog Day is a bear of an affair! It’s time again for the OKC Zoo’s grizzly brothers, Will and Wiley, to put their fur-casting skills to the test with their annual prediction: six more weeks of winter or an early spring!
Saturday, February 2, 2019, at 10 a.m.
Big Rivers building in the Zoo’s Oklahoma Trails habitat
Wondering when spring will arrive? The OKC Zoo has enlisted a little help from our perceptive grizzly bear brothers, Will and Wiley, both 16. During a special enrichment activity, the grizzlies will make a prediction as to when the seasons will change. Because the Zoo does not have groundhogs in its animal collection, the grizzlies step in as official Groundhog Day ambassadors. Activities are scheduled to take place at 10 a.m. in the Big Rivers building in the Zoo's Oklahoma Trails and are free with admission. Guests will enjoy free hot chocolate, coffee and doughnuts while supplies last as they cheer on our weather-watching grizzlies!
OKC Zoo’s Groundhog Day Highlights:
The OKC Zoo’s designated “town crier” returns to add a throwback feel to the festivities as he reads the official proclamation in the spirit of early Groundhog Day celebrations.
Throughout its history, the OKC Zoo has enlisted the help of several Groundhog Day delegates including a bison, prairie dog and pot-bellied pigs. Will and Wiley remain fan favorites!
Sixteen-year-old grizzlies Will and Wiley came to the Zoo in 2003 after being orphaned in the Alaska wilderness. Shortly after they arrived, the Zoo initiated a “Name the Bear Contest,” and enthusiasts voted to name the pair Will and Wiley after famous Oklahomans Will Rogers and Wiley Post.
Weather watching comes naturally for our bear pair. Bears were originally used to predict the weather in Europe but, when the population of bears decreased, a badger or “groundhog” filled in. Hence the name, Groundhog Day.