He couldn’t have predicted this.
Canadian groundhog Fred la Marmotte gave a Quebec crowd a real surprise Thursday when he was found dead moments before the annual weather forecasting ceremony.
Officials broke the sad news much to the shock of those gathered in Val-d’Espoir who were eagerly hoping for an early spring prediction from Fred.
“In life, the only thing that’s certain is that nothing is certain,” event organizer Roberto Blondin said at la Jour de Fred, or Fred’s day.
“Well, this year it’s true. It’s sadly true. I announce to you that Fred is dead.”
Fred, 9, was found dead overnight, but officials believe he could have died during hibernation several weeks before Groundhog Day.
Though the century-old North American tradition dictates that winter would last an extra six weeks if a groundhog sees his show or that an early spring is on the horizon if the rodent can’t see his shadow, the folklore doesn’t address what a dead Fred means.
Quebec officials refused to let the animal’s death stand in the way of tradition, however. Blondin gave a stuffed toy version of Fred to a child standing in the crowd to carry on the job.
The toy cast a shadow, revealing that “spring is delayed” for the Canadian province.
Blondin announced the annual event, which dates back to 2009, will continue next year with Fred’s successor: Fred Junior, according to Global News.
Down in the US, Staten Island Chuck predicted that springtime is near for New York City, while Punxsutawney Phil delivered some bad news for Pennsylvania: six more weeks of winter.
With Post wires