Officials in Pennsylvania are defending the use of fracking to extract Punxsutawney Phil from his burrow at the annual Groundhog Day celebration.
After learning that Punxsutawney Phil was reluctant to come out of his burrow, local officials decided to apply the method typically reserved for pumping oil and gas out of the ground.
“The town called us up and said they wanted us to pull that famous groundhog out of his burrow,” said drilling rig worker Amy Blank. “I told them we don’t do pest control–we don’t really do house calls either–but they wouldn’t listen. Eventually, we relented, hooked up the rig and pumped him out.”
The process reportedly worked “extraordinarily well.”
“It was both practical and culturally relevant to frack Punxsutawney Phil on Groundhog Day,” said Director of Economic Affairs Mark Barron. “It was neither inhumane nor environmentally dangerous. I think this will be a tradition for years to come.”
The event was not without its critics, however.
“They didn’t need to frack a groundhog in a random attempt to predict the weather,” said environmentalist Katie Dawn. “Winter ends for good when the oil executives say it does.”
Barron dismissed any controversy with the extraction process.
“Fracking fluid is not dangerous, and it was not dangerous to Punxsutawney Phil,” said Barron. “It’s just sand and water. It was probably like a nice dip in Lake Erie.”
Upon seeing his shadow, Punxsutawney Phil predicted six more weeks of winter filled with snowfall and fracking-induced earthquakes.