Quebec’s Fred la Marmotte dies before Groundhog Day prediction: ‘He had no vital signs’

Click to play video: 'Unexpected twist overshadows Quebec’s Groundhog Day'
Unexpected twist overshadows Quebec’s Groundhog Day
WATCH: Every Groundhog Day, a furry forecaster predicts how long winter will last by whether or not it sees its own shadow. But that didn't happen this year in Quebec. Eric Sorensen reports on the unfortunate twist this event took – Feb 2, 2023

Quebec’s furry forecaster, Fred la Marmotte, died before he was able to reveal his 2023 Groundhog Day prediction.

The organizer of the Val-d’Espoir event, Roberto Blondin, made the tragic announcement in front of a crowd of awaiting spectators.

“When I went to wake him last night he had no vital signs,” Blondin said. “He most likely died during hibernation.”

Despite the loss of the beloved groundhog, the annual celebrations continued in the cold.

The late famed whistle pig of nine years old was honoured with a plush animal toy.

A prediction, done by a committee of volunteer children, confirmed six more weeks of winter are to come.

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Fred la Marmotte, as seen in 2018. TVCGR/YouTube

Last year, the weather-minded rodent also predicted six more weeks of winter. In 2022, Fred worked from home again due to the COVID-19 pandemic, so only a few people were on hand for the annual tradition. The event was broadcast on community television bright and early for Quebecers to see.

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Blondin announced the annual event, which dates back to 2009, will continue next year with Fred’s successor: Fred Junior.

Groundhog Day, according to folklore, is when a groundhog will emerge from its burrow and if it does not see its shadow, then spring is just around the corner. If it does see a shadow and retreats, then we can expect six more weeks of winter.

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Shubenacadie Sam, Nova Scotia’s most famous groundhog, apparently saw her shadow this morning as she emerged from a snow-covered enclosure at a wildlife park north of Halifax.

Meanwhile, Willie was brought out on stage in Wiarton, Ont. in a Plexiglass box. He heralded spring’s arrival.

with files from The Canadian Press

Click to play video: 'Groundhog Day 2023: Shubenacadie Sam sees her shadow, predicts 6 more weeks of winter'
Groundhog Day 2023: Shubenacadie Sam sees her shadow, predicts 6 more weeks of winter

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