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Forget Groundhog Day. Jacksonville Has Porcupine Day.

Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens

Friday is Groundhog Day.

But here in Jacksonville, the animal doing the annual spring forecast isn’t a groundhog but Spike the Prognosticating Porcupine.

Spike lives at the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens.

If he sees his shadow when he first steps outside, that will mean we’re in for six more weeks of winter weather; no shadow and spring’s right around the corner.

Folks who know Spike say he’s bigger, smarter and handsomer than Pennsylvania’s Punxsutawney Phil could ever be.

And to ensure Spike’s accuracy, zoo officials say he’ll wait until 11 a.m. to make his forecast.

Spike is located in the Campground Critters section, which is in the Australia loop of the Zoo near the lorikeet aviary. The zoo is charging $3 for members and $4 for non-members for the show.

Contact reporter Cyd Hoskinson at, 904-358-6351 and on Twitter @cydwjctnews.