Photo courtesy of Merrimack police

Mar 11, 2015 7:42 PM

Merrimack police have captured Punxsutawney Phil

MERRIMACK - Police have captured the town's most wanted rodent.

On Wednesday, Merrimack police posted a booking photo of Punxsutawney Phil - at least it was a photo of the stuffed version - on its Facebook page with the word captured splashed on top of it.

Temperatures in New Hampshire have been warmer this week, prompting melting, and patches of grass have become visible on many lawns.

Earlier this year, police sparked a friendly back-and-forth between New Hampshire and Pennsylvania after Merrimack police issued a warrant for Phil's arrest.

Merrimack police clearly were having some fun as one of the snowiest and coldest winters in New Hampshire dragged on.

"We have received several complaints from the public that this little varmint is held up in a hole, warm and toasty," police said in a Facebook post. "He told several people that winter would last 6 more weeks, however he failed to disclose that it would consist of mountains of snow!"

Police urge officials not to take out their frustrations on Phil but be wary with an approach as the groundhog is "armed and dangerous."Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf responded to the call for the arrest in an article on

"We will do what is necessary to protect our beloved weather-predicting groundhog. The Merrimack Police Department should drop their cold-hearted plan to arrest Phil," Wolf said in the article.

Wolf called Punxsutawney Phil an American legend and a Pennsylvania hero, and he called for Gov. Maggie Hassan to intervene.

However, Hassan took Merrimack's side. In February, she served the warrant to Wolf.

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