Bastiaan Groundhog, the zoocratically-elected 2013 Park Official Prognosticator of Spring (POPS) has been removed from his burrow and will remain at an “undisclosed location” for an extended period of time, his handlers said today.
At a hastily scheduled press event, spokesAnimals for the 2013 POPS confirmed that threats made on the Groundhog’s life were the reason for the hasty exit from his burrow.
“On seventeen separate occasions, Bastiaan Groundhog, Park Animals’ choice for 2013 POPS, has received threats against his life,” said Klazina Woodchuck, one of the Groundhog’s handlers.
The threats began late in February and continued until a few days ago, Woodchuck said. It is believed that they were brought on by the slow growth of vegetation in The Park and the unseasonably cold temperatures and grey skies. The 2013 POPS had predicted an early Spring on Groundhog Day. The threats imply that the Groundhog either deliberately lied to the public or that he misrepresented his prognostication abilities. In either case, whoever is making the threats believes the POPS to be personally responsible, in some way, for the delay in Spring’s arrival.
“The threats carry strong wording and we are taking them very seriously,” said Park police spokesAnimal Serge Malinois, who also attended the press event.
And while Malinois was tight-lipped about the possible perpetrators of the threats, he did confirm that Park police had a number of suspects under investigation.
“All I can tell you at this point is that our list of suspects is a long one,” he said.