PETA says it's time that 'Phil' retires

It's been a tough year for many Americans - and if it were up to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, Pennsylvania's Punxsutawney Phil would be out of a job, too.

PETA says that the nation's most famous groundhog, the center of the annual Groundhog Day celebration who yesterday predicted another six weeks of winter, should be replaced by an animatronic groundhog.

Ben Hughes holds Punxsutawney Phil at Gobblers Knob yesterday.

Phil's yearly weatherman duties and his regular home in captivity are cruel, said PETA spokeswoman Lisa Wathne.

Groundhog Day "would really be very lighthearted fun if it didn't mean that Phil had to spend his life in a cage in the basement of the town library," she said.

Plus, Wathne added, "we all know that Phil isn't really predicting the weather."

And exactly how would a robotic groundhog predict the weather?

- Emily Schultheis