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Contact(s):Susan Altrui
501-661-7208

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE :
Monday, February 02, 2009

Zoo Hedgehog Counters Phil, Predicts Early Spring


LITTLE ROCK (February 2, 2009) – In a shocking contrary prediction, the Little Rock Zoo’s hedgehog, Mr. Prickles, predicted an early end to winter today and the quick arrival of spring.

Mr. Prickles, an African Pigmy Hedgehog, woke from a peaceful slumber early this morning at the prodding of a keeper offering treats to see whether-or-not the hedgehog would come outside and see his shadow.

Mr. Prickles, normally a nocturnal animal, was happy to wake and accept a treat and made his contrary and somewhat controversial statement that Pennsylvania’s Punxsutawney Phil has made an incorrect prediction that there will be six more weeks of winter.

Zoo Director Mike Blakely read the proclamation of Mr. Prickles which says, “Here ye, here ye, as I look around me, a beautiful sky I see, but no shadow beside me, winter is finally over, yippie!” said the hedgehog.

Mr. Prickles is an Africa Pigmy Hedgehog and noted that Punxsutawney Phil’s prediction was made in haste and that the public should be wary of any comment made by a close relative of a rat. When Mr. Prickles was asked why he doubts the wisdom of the groundhog, Mr. Prickles said:

“Punxsutawney Phil is a woodchuck, or large land rodent, and should not be trusted. Rats are known to be scoundrels and I think the public should be weary of any statement made by Mr. Phil,” said Prickles.

Zoo staff welcomed the prediction and said they are eager to start the spring season and invited everyone to visit the best place for family recreation and entertainment, the Little Rock Zoo.

The Little Rock Zoo is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). Look for the AZA logo whenever you visit a zoo or aquarium as your assurance that you are supporting a facility dedicated to providing excellent care for animals, a great experience for you and a better future for all living things. With its more than 200 accredited members, AZA is a leader in global wildlife conservation and your link to helping animals in their native habitats. For more information, visit www.aza.org.

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