Poppy Groundhog

Poppy the groundhog will prognosticate (virtually) on Groundhog Day.

Try to predict the future in 2021.

Poppy the groundhog will do just that on Groundhog Day.

The rescue woodchuck will give her prognostication virtually. And while she won’t be starring in another Emmy-nominated Super Bowl ad this year, Poppy’s inspired a scavenger hunt to support businesses in downtown Lancaster.

Poppy was recovering from her moment in the spotlight when COVID-19 shutdown Pennsylvania. Just weeks before, she was filming a Jeep commercial for the Super Bowl. She stood in the basket of Bill Murray’s bicycle, rode shotgun with the wind in her fur and watched him play whack-a-mole. 

Poppy’s used to people because she’s a rescue animal trained as an animal educator. Poppy was a 4-week-old pup when she was found alone on a driveway in Conestoga, says her handler, Betsy Shank.

At Raven Ridge Wildlife Center in Washington Boro, volunteers discovered why she wasn’t eating. Poppy’s front teeth were crooked. That’s a big deal because groundhogs’ front teeth grow about 1/16th of an inch a week, according to the National Wildlife Federation. When the teeth align, they’re ground down with each bite. Poppy’s teeth would grow into the opposite jaw so her incisors were removed.

While her education programs have been canceled during the pandemic, Poppy and Shank made plans for Groundhog Day, virtually and socially-distant.

Poppy will give her prediction for spring, Tuesday, Feb. 2 at 11 a.m. on the Facebook page of Acorn Acres Wildlife Rehabilitation, a group Shank created. Poppy makes her prediction by picking treats in front of a board split between early spring and more winter. After the prediction, Shank will share more about groundhogs and answer questions.

Poppy’s scavenger hunt launches on Groundhog Day as a way to help local businesses. The hunt lasts through Saturday, Feb. 6.

Several businesses will have Poppy products.

  • Ville + Rue will have a Poppy-print pillow and tea towel.
  • Miesse Candies will have Poppy “poo” pops, actually, chocolate lollipops in the shape of the poomoji.
  • Zoetropolis Cinema Stillhouse will have two Poppy-esque items on the menu.
  • Makes Scents Natural Spa Line and Hempfield Botanicals have Poppy-approved products.
  • Wick Bar and Co. will have a lemon poppyseed muffin-scented DIY candle kit. The business’ Chestnut Street location has closed so the kits will be available at Ville + Rue.

Each item comes with a voucher. A voucher will be drawn Sunday, Feb. 7 at 11 a.m. for a gift basket.

Also, on Groundhog Day, Poppy will pop-up at the six businesses, unannounced to prevent crowds.

The groundhog with Bill Murray in Jeep's Super Bowl ad? It's Poppy, Lancaster County's rescue 'hog

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