ALBERTVILLE, Ala. – Sand Mountain Sam will still give an opinion about whether winter’s going to last longer this year, but he won’t give it in person anymore.
WQSB radio said Wednesday it will no longer continue its tradition of trotting out a possum to predict the weather after a warning from state game warden officials.
Sand Mountain Sam has been trotted out every year since 1993 to give his own prediction, akin to the Punxsutawney Phil groundhog tradition in Pennsylvania.
But this year, the radio station said Sam’s handler, a local pet groomer, was told by game wardens that having a possum as a pet is against the law. Any Possum Day celebration involving a live possum would result in arrests, the radio station said they were told.
So instead of a live prediction, WQSB says the possum will call in his prediction on whether there will be six more weeks of winter. People are still welcome to visit WQSB Studios on Jan. 31 at 7:45 a.m. for Sand Mountain Sam’s official announcement.
Punxsutawney Phil’s winter prediction takes place every year on Feb. 2.