WATCH: Groundhog takes a bite out of winter… and the mayor

WATCH ABOVE: Wisconsin’s Jimmy the Groundhog says spring is coming early – and he made the prediction in dramatic fashion.

TORONTO – A Wisconsin mayor was left licking his wound after a local celebrity groundhog tried to bite his ear off.

Sun Prairie mayor Jonathan Freund braved the cold Monday morning for his city’s Groundhog Day festivities. But when it came time to announce Jimmy the Groundhog‘s prediction, Freund became the victim of a heinous, vicious act.

The groundhog took a bite of his ear.

READ MORE: Split decision from Canada’s famed groundhogs

Sun Prairie, Wisconsin mayor Jonathan Freund had no idea what was coming when he ‘tried to listen’ to Jimmy the Groundhog. CBS / WISC

“Thank you,” the mayor told the furry prognosticator as he tried to recover – adding that Jimmy didn’t see his shadow and, just like Wiarton Willie, called for an early spring.

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But that’s where it gets controversial. WISC reports that Jimmy’s handlers, Jerry and Maria Hahn, claim the rookie mayor could have misinterpreted the woodchuck.

The city later had to clarify.

“We count on Jimmy to actually predict the weather…not just have an automated response based on current weather conditions like other groundhogs across the country,” Director of Economic Development Neil Stechschulte said in a statement. “After a back and forth conversation with Jimmy this morning, the mayor clearly confirmed Jimmy’s call for winter ending early.”

In hindsight, the city of Sun Prairie learned a couple of important things today:

  1. Don’t stand too close to the furry, hungry, uncomfortable animal with teeth
  2. Ears are actually tasty
  3. Never trust a celebrity that rides in a stretch limo and only has just more than 300 Twitter followers.

Besides, who has ever heard of a legitimate “groundhog whisperer”? Bill Murray doesn’t count.

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