Museum’s Groundhog Ready to Forecast Weather as Buckeye Chuck

CLEVELAND, Ohio – One of the Cleveland Museum of Natural History’s newest animal ambassadors, Murray, has officially become Ohio’s Buckeye Chuck.

Besides his newest gig as the state’s official weather-predicting groundhog, Murray can often be found participating in live animal programs, helping to educate the public about the importance of Ohio’s native wildlife.

Since Murray’s arrival at the museum in June, he has been enjoying new enrichment items and learning to train for both educational programs and veterinary checkups. He will now begin preparing for his Feb. 2 debut for iHeart Media’s Groundhog’s Day live broadcast.

In preparation for this event, the museum’s wildlife staff will begin to introduce Murray to a “den” and platform so he can participate in a hands-off weather prediction.

Before his arrival at the museum, Murray was found injured on the roadside. The groundhog was nursed back to health, but it was determined that he could not be released into nature. He now resides in the museum’s Ralph Perkins II Wildlife Center & Woods Garden.

“Not only does Murray have a safe and nurturing new home, but our guests also have a chance to learn from him, so it’s a perfect pairing,” said Jim Nemet, director of wildlife. “The goal of the Perkins Wildlife Center is to allow people to get up close and learn about Ohio Wildlife, and Murray’s addition helps out with that tremendously.”

You will see Murray in his new role as Buckeye Chuck when he participates in the Groundhog Day ceremony to predict if there will be six more weeks of winter. If Murray does not see his shadow, he predicts an early spring. 

The Ralph Perkins II Wildlife Center & Woods Garden – Presented by KeyBank is an immersive outdoor area located on the museum’s University Circle campus. The center features native Ohio plants and wildlife and is home to rescued animals that are unable to return to the wild.

The center provides an opportunity to experience Ohio wildlife in a unique educational setting. Access to the Perkins center is included in general admission.

Pictured at top: Murray, the Cleveland Museum of Natural History’s groundhog, has taken on the duties of Buckeye Chuck for Groundhog Day.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.