By Chris King • 02 February 2023 • 19:30
Image of Groundhog Day in Punxsutawney, 2013.
Credit: Wikipedia - By Anthony Quintano - https://www.flickr.com/photos/quintanomedia/8437241711/, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=31379117
Fred la Marmotte, the beloved groundhog who famously predicts when Winter will end in Canada each year has been found dead today, Thursday, January 2. His passing was announced by Roberto Blondin, the organiser of the annual Groundhog Day event in Val-d’Espoir, Quebec.
“When I went to wake him last night he had no vital signs. He most likely died during hibernation”, explained Blondin, as reported by globalnews.ca.
This year’s event continued after nine-year-old Fred was honoured with a toy animal. His place was taken instead by a group of children. The volunteer committee subsequently predicted that winter would last for another six weeks.
Last year’s annual event – dating back to 2009 – was broadcast on community television due to the pandemic. Fred predicted an extra six weeks of Winter for 2022. As announced by Blondin, Fred Junior will replace Fred at next year’s Groundhog day event.
The folklore surrounding this famous event revolves around what happens when the groundhog emerges from its burrow after hibernating. If it spots its own shadow and disappears back inside its burrow then six more weeks of Winter can be expected. On the other hand, when the rodent doesn’t see its shadow then Spring is said to be just around the corner.
In other parts of Canada today, Nova Scotia’s most famous groundhog, Shubenacadie Sam, apparently saw her shadow. This occurred at her home in a wildlife park north of Halifax. In Ontario, Willie heralded the arrival of Spring when he appeared on stage in Wiarton.
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Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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