Fred la Marmotte, Quebec, Canada's famed and beloved groundhog, suddenly died before he could predict when winter would be over in the province's Groundhog Day celebration.
According to the outlet Global News, people went to in Val-d'Espoir, Quebec, on Thursday (2 February), only to be met with Roberto Blondin, the la Jour de Marmotte community organiser, who informed them of the unfortunate news.
Blondin told the crowd that things are different this year and that "nothing's for certain."
"Well, this year, that has come true. It's true. It's unfortunate. I'm here to announce Fred's death," he said, according to CBC.
Blondin also told the crowd that when he went to visit the marmot, he didn't have any "vital signs."
"He most likely died during hibernation," Blondin said.
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\u201cNot sure what this predicts but Quebec\u2019s groundhog Fred la Marmotte has died.\n\nIt was somewhat of a surprise - they had a whole event leading up to his prediction only for his death to be announced.\u201d— Sarah Leavitt (@Sarah Leavitt) 1675344798
Global News noted that despite Fred's passing, the annual celebrations did continue on in the cold.
The famed predictor of winter's end - who held the task for nine years- was honoured with a plush toy animal, and volunteer children carried out the prediction.
They confirmed that winter would last another six weeks. Last year, Fred also predicted six more weeks of winter.
Additionally, Blondin also announced that next year's celebration would continue with Fred's replacement, Fred Junior.
Global News further reported that Quebec isn't the only area slated to get more winter weather.
Nova Scotia's groundhog Shubenacadie Sam saw her shadow, indicating that there would be an additional six weeks of winter there too.
Groundhog Day is popular in the US and Canada and comes from the Pennsylvania-Dutch superstition that suggests if a groundhog comes out of its burrows on 2 February and sees its shadow, six more weeks of winter are on the way.
If it doesn’t see it’s shadow, spring will be coming early.
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