Troubled groundhog Punxsutawney Phil has checked himself into rehab after an altercation with photographers outside his Gobbler’s Knob burrow Wednesday morning.
News of Phil seeking treatment comes one day after the marmot was rushed to a Pittsburgh animal hospital citing severe abdominal pain. Phil, who managed to avoid photogs with a little trickeration from his friends -- reportedly left the Pittsburgh area clinic around 10 PM last night ... this according to ExtraTV.com.
As we previously reported, Phil was hospitalized for a hiatal hernia Tuesday ... after a 36-hour party binge with porn stars, Twiggy the Waterskiing Squirrel and a Gucci briefcase filled with Macadamia nuts.
The marmot looked haggard and confused as he emerged from his burrow Wednesday morning to make his annual winter weather prediction, accompanied by a scantily-clad and clearly inebriated Twiggy. The two crawled around on the ground outside Phil’s den looking for his shadow, and then – as hundreds of flashbulbs went off from the throng gathered for the highly anticipated event – Phil became agitated.
In a video acquired by The Daily Wedgie, the enraged woodchuck can be seen warning one photographer, who apparently had gotten too close to his ladyfriend: “Touch her and I’ll break your f---ing neck!” before scurrying to the offending photog and knocking him to the ground with a punch to the face, as a crowd of hundreds watched in horror.
Phil had to be pulled off the paparazzo by his handlers, who included Punxsutawney Mayor James Wehrle. After screaming some more obscenities at the photographer and making a lewd gesture at the crowd, the debauched marmot retreated back inside his burrow, with Twiggy in tow.
The photographer sustained minor cuts and bruises and has threatened a lawsuit.
Later the groundhog’s rep released the following terse statement:
"Punxsutawney Phil has voluntarily entered an undisclosed rehabilitation center today. He is most grateful to all who have expressed their concern."
Phil’s family has voiced alarm at the latest in what has become a long line of embarrassing incidents.
"We are profoundly concerned for Phil’s health and well-being, and support his decision," Phil’s parents, Punxsutawney Pete and Smicksburg Sue, told reporters.
Last August, the neurotic nut-gnawer pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault and was sentenced to rehab after a Christmas Day fight with ex-wife Sandy Cheeks, the squirrel from Spongebob Squarepants. He completed three months of probation in that case.
In October, Phil was involved in a Manhattan hotel trashing melee that allegedly involved Alvin and the Chipmunks and porn actress Geri the Gerbil, but no criminal charges were filed.
Just two weeks ago, the whistlepig spent $26,000 on hookers and Trail Mix during a Las Vegas binge, according to People.com.