PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The Oregon Zoo’s own Groundhog Day rodent Stumptown Fil agrees with Punxsutawney Phil this year that we are in for several more weeks of winter weather.
“Don’t put those mittens away just yet,” the Oregon Zoo announced Thursday. “Filbert the beaver — aka Stumptown Fil — has made his weather prediction. Though Feb. 2 is widely known as Groundhog Day, when it comes to furry forecasters, Filbert’s care staff and social media fans prefer their local beaver.”
Filbert disagreed with Punxsutawney Phil in 2022, with Phil predicting six more weeks of winter and Fil calling an early spring. Stumptown Fil has predicted the weather since 2020, but Oregon Zoo keeper Christina Parr said that rodent-based weather predictions are an unreliable method of forecasting.
“Last year, Filbert predicted an early spring, and in April we had to close the zoo because of snow and ice,” Parr said. “Then again, Punxsutawney Phil’s record isn’t so great either — you might be better off flipping a coin.”
So far, Stumptown Fil’s 2023 prediction holds true for the Pacific Northwest, with rainy winter weather lingering in the forecast for the foreseeable future.
Filbert was born at the Oregon Zoo in 2011, where he still lives with his lodge-mate Maple. In addition to his career as a meteorologist, Filbert also dabbles in scientific research. In 2015, he assisted Oregon State University with its Beaver Genome Project to help researchers improve their understanding of North America’s largest rodent.