Chuckles, the official state groundhog who resided at the , sadly died on Tuesday about two years after she arrived at the museum.
Chuckles VII, (AKA Molly), was brought to the museum after being injured by a car. According to a news release from the museum, Chuckles never fully recovered from her injuries. Poor Chuckles.
For the last two years, Chuckles VII has been the official groundhog for Connecticut, giving Punxsutawney Phil of Pennsylvania some competition. Each year, the museum is packed with media and spectators as the groundhog whispers her prediction into the mayor's ear. This year, Chuckles got it right by predicting an early spring, while Punxsutawney Phil thought we'd have six more weeks of winter.
In response to the news of Chuckles' passing, state Sen. Steve Cassano, D-Manchester, called her a "hero."
“Though she had been ill for some time, Chuckles was a always a symbol of comfort and joy for the kids," Cassano said in a statement. "And she was right-on in her prediction this year for an early spring since we’ve had the warmest winter probably on record. Chuckles died a hero.”
"She's the only one who can accurately predict Connecticut's weather," Eckert said at the time. "She's been working for months. She's got her Farmer's Almanac and all of her charts and graphs and things. She takes this job very, very seriously."
With a mild February leading up to temperatures in the high 60s this week, Chuckles turned out to be right.
The museum says the search has already started for the next Connecticut State Groundhog, which could take some time. "The musum accepts only non-releasable wildlife referred by veterinarians or licensed rehabilitation facilities," the release said.