Sun Prairie, Wisc., Mayor Jonathan Freund got more than he bargained for on Monday, when Jimmy the Groundhog bit his ear during the annual Groundhog Day celebrations.

Groundhog Bites Mayor’s Ear On Groundhog Day

Jimmy the Groundhog bit down on the mayor’s ear during the ceremony just after emerging from his hole. A handler held Jimmy up to Mayor Freund’s ear so that the groundhog could tell the Mayor whether or not he saw his shadow, but, before the Mayor could declare the fate of the seasons, Jimmy gave his ear a playful bite. Mayor Freund powered through, proclaiming that Jimmy had not seen his shadow and, therefore, predicted an early spring.

“This is the first year that Jimmy has predicted an early spring with me…It’s a great tradition. It brings a lot of people out to Sun Prairie,” Mayor Freund told reporters after the ceremony.

According to Jimmy the Groundhog’s handler, Jerry Hahn, who is retiring his duties after this year, Jimmy has only bit one other mayor in the 13 years he has been working as the animal’s handler. “Jimmy was doing great today other than taking a nip out of the mayor’s ear…That’s part of being mayor, I guess. This is the fourth mayor [since I’ve been handler], the second mayor that got a nip,” Hahn said.

Perhaps the bite was revenge for last year’s Groundhog Day mishap in New York, when NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio dropped the Staten Island groundhog mid-ceremony.

Meanwhile, Punxsutawney Phil, Philadelphia’s Groundhog, saw his shadow, predicting six more weeks of winter.

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