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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2021 - 2022 Regular Session


Posted: January 25, 2022 11:15 AM
From: Senator John I. Kane
To: All Senate members
Subject: Designating the Noble Groundhog as the Official State Rodent of Pennsylvania
In the near future, I will be introducing legislation to finally rectify a long-standing oversight within this Commonwealth and designate the noble groundhog as the official state rodent of Pennsylvania. This legislation, brought to my attention by a constituent, will allow the groundhog to take its rightful place alongside our state animal (the white-tailed deer), state bird (the ruffed grouse), state fish (the brook trout), state insect (the firefly), state dog (the Great Dane), state amphibian (the Eastern hellbender), and even state fossil (the trilobite).

The groundhog is notable for several reasons. A member of the marmot family, it is exceptional in its habitat – while other marmots choose to live in rocky and mountainous areas, the groundhog is a lowland animal, and plays an important role in maintaining healthy soil in woodland and plain areas. Groundhogs are extremely intelligent, able to form complex social networks and understand social behavior, form kinship with their young, and understand and communicate threats through whistling. Further, groundhogs are one of the few species who enter a true hibernation, often building a separated, winterized burrow for this purpose.

And the importance of the groundhog to Pennsylvania can hardly be overstated. Punxsutawney Phil, Seer of Seers, Sage of Sages, Prognosticator of Prognosticators and Weather-Prophet Extraordinary is world-renowned for his predictive capabilities. Pennsylvania’s second most famous groundhog, Gus, helps our Commonwealth generate revenue to support our seniors.

Please join me in co-sponsoring this legislation.

Introduced as SB1115