LILBURN, Ga. — The South’s iconic groundhog, Gen. Beauregard Lee, waddled out of his “Weathering Heights” mansion Thursday and failed to see his shadow on the Georgia red dirt.
The development bodes well for warm weather: No shadow means an early spring, hundreds of spectators were told as the prediction was made around 7:30 a.m. outside Atlanta.
The groundhog emerged moments after a crowd cheered, “Go Beau, Go Beau, Go Beau!”
Beau’s caretakers at the Yellow River Game Ranch in Lilburn say he has a 94 percent accuracy rating, giving him a better record than Punxsutawney Phil, his Pennsylvania counterpart.
The ranch says that every year on Feb. 2, the Georgia groundhog wakes up to the ringing of an antique bell to forecast the spring weather.
Beau is about 17. The ranch is hoping to name a successor before next year, Yellow River’s Codi Reeves said.