Grooming a Weatherman for His TV Debut, and Hoping He Doesn’t Bite the Host – New York Times

Oh my, how I’ve missed the New York Times! Another terrific article, this time about the zoo’s groundhog handler and his toothy charge:

This Chuck is the sixth groundhog Mr. Schwartz has trained for the role since 1995 – his predecessor died last spring. Because he was born in captivity (in a zoo in New Jersey), he has been relatively easy to socialize – relatively being the key word.

“The patience involved is staggering,” Mr. Schwartz said. “He’s got a brain the size of a cashew, so you really don’t have much to work with.” And, he added: “They’re known for their aggression, so you’re starting from a hard place. His natural impulse is to kill ’em all and let God sort ’em out. You have to work to produce the sweet and cuddly.”

Training animals with brains the size of a cashew… See my previous few posts for tonight’s unintentional StumbleTheme.

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