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Fur flies at Brookfield Zoo's Groundhog Day election
By Marni Pyke | Daily Herald Staff

Brookfield Zoo's Tumbleweed emerges from her den Tuesday.


Courtesy Brookfield Zoo

A parade during Brookfield Zoo's Groundhog Day "election" contest between Cloudy and Tumbleweed.


Courtesy Brookfield Zoo

Supporters of groundhogs Cloudy and Tumbleweed show their political stripes Tuesday at Brookfield Zoo.


Courtesy Brookfield Zoo

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Published: 2/2/2010 2:07 PM

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It was a muckraking, carrot-throwing election, but in the end Tumbleweed won because she wanted it most.

A crowd of supporters at Brookfield Zoo waited anxiously to see which of its two groundhogs - Tumbleweed or Cloudy - would emerge Tuesday morning to see its shadow and win an impromptu election organized by curators.

"Tumbleweed came out pretty quickly but Cloudy didn't budge," zoo spokeswoman Sondi Katzen said.

Tumbleweed didn't see her shadow, meaning spring could be coming soon. She kept her remarks brief, spending most of the time devouring a sweet potato cake.

Katzen wasn't sure the political affiliation of the two groundhogs but speculated it might be the Green Party.

"They're all for the environment," she said.

Legend has it if the groundhog sees its shadow, there will be six more weeks of winter.

About 200 people showed up at the zoo's Groundhog Day celebration, carrying signs created by zoo staff touting the qualifications of either rodent.

"Cloudy's the elder and has more experience. Tumbleweed seems to be more crowd-oriented," Katzen said.