Groundhog Day: Tymko Predicts Six More Weeks of Winter >> Karazin University

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February 2, 2018

Groundhog Day: Tymko Predicts Six More Weeks of Winter


On February 2, Groundhog Day is celebrated. It is a humorous holiday, the main character of which is a groundhog predicting the arrival of spring. This year, Kharkiv animal Tymko has brought together many guests. They came to the Biological Station of Karazin University to find out if the groundhog would see his shadow.

The event was attended by the Deputy of Kharkiv Regional Council, Head of Zmiiv Regional State Administration, Vitalii Koshelenko, the Director of the Ecology and Natural Resources Department of Kharkiv Regional State Administration, Andrii Tymchuk, the Dean of Karazin University School of Biology, Vasyl Zhmurko, the Head of the Department of Zoology and Animal Ecology of the School of Biology, Viktor Tokarskyi.

Vitalii Koshelenko opened the formal part of the event. He said that the holiday is an opportunity to draw public attention to the extinction of groundhogs. At the end of the speech, the Deputy presented a monument to the groundhog made by the sculptor Yurii Semenikin. In addition to the monument, there were presents from other organizations: the Rotari Club donated money forTymko's needs, and the Huberniia Club gave the Haidary Park a subscription to the same-name magazine.

“I believe that one of the slogans of today’s event is ‘Protect nature’. Until 2009, groundhogs were listed in the Red Book of Ukraine, but today, the situation is somewhat better. It is good that there are people who are concerned about the problem,” said Andrii Tymchuk.

Vasyl Zhmurko made an attempt to voice Tymko’s thoughts, “We all belong to nature. It will be very bad, if we disappear. Think about it! And let all your actions be aimed at preserving the environmental values.”

After the formal part, Viktor Tokarskyi pointed out that even though groundhogs are no longer listed in the Red Book, today Ukraine has a huge problem with their extermination. He said that the students and faculty members of the School of Biology had written a letter to the Minister of Ecology of Ukraine to support the strategy of preserving groundhogs and to prevent the degradation of this relict species population.

In addition to the traditional question “When will spring come?”, Tymko was asked “Is there life on Mars?” in the context of the latest news: on February 6, 2018, the Falcon rocket will fly to Mars.

When the animal was taken from his house, he did not see his shadow. “Spring will definitely come. And the groundhog says that in six weeks it will be warm,” interpreted Viktor Tokarskyi. Interestingly, the Kharkiv animal’s prediction coincided with that of his American counterpart — the Pennsylvanian groundhog Phil also predicted six more weeks of winter. As for the second question, Tymko answered that life on Mars exists.

This year, Ukrainians saw the groundhog Tymko III, who replaced his father Tymko II.

Translation by Veronika Vetukhova

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