The Town of South Bruce Peninsula in southwestern Ontario announced the news on Willie’s Twitter account on Wednesday.
“Most groundhogs in the wild live to be approximately 4 years old, with shorter lifespans typically for the albino variety, like Willie,” a statement read.
“Willie’s daily care regiment coupled with living in a safe and protected environment allowed Willie to reach the ripe old age of 13.”
Officials said the town will commemorate Willie by erecting a statue in his “likeness” at Wiarton’s Bluewater Park.
“Willie was 13 years young and served our Town, Province and Country with immense pride each and every Groundhog Day,” the statement said.
“Willie also enjoyed meeting the thousands of guests that would visit him at his home in Bluewater Park during the summer months.”
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A memorial service for the beloved rodent, which will include a funeral procession, will be held on Sept. 30 at 11 a.m. at Bluewater Park.
The public is also invited to attend a ceremony to anoint Willie’s two-year-old understudy, Wee Willie, as the town’s new prognosticator.
Hundreds bundle up to watch Willie emerge from his burrow each winter, many slipping on woodchuck masks or toting figurines of the famous critter.
Willie’s prognostication has always been the marquee moment during a three-day festival in his honour.
–With a file from The Canadian Press