groundhog fur closeup
Mammals

Groundhog

You can call it a Whistle Pig or a Woodchuck. But they're all Groundhogs, and it's the only animal with a holiday all its own. This time of year, most are groundhog hibernating, dropping their heart rates to four beats per hour. Males do come out of their burrows in February, not to predict the weather, but to search for a mate. When they sense danger, Groundhogs let out a shrill whistle to alert others, and then dash back into their burrows. If you haven't yet seen a Groundhog, just wait. In the last 15 years their population has spread from North Carolina's mountains through the Triangle to the upper coastal plain.

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