A groundhog is a type of marmot also known as a woodchuck, whistle-pig or land beaver.
In 2010, the Animal Rights group PETA said that the organisers of Pennsylvania's Groundhog Day celebrations on February 2 should replace the weather-forecasting groundhog known as Punxsutawney Phil with a robotic stand-in.
They protested at the animal's being kept in captivity and exposed to large crowds and bright lights.
William Deeley, President of the Inner Circle of the Punxsutawney Groundhog Club said,
"the animal is being treated better than the average child in Pennsylvania".