The high-stress world of weather prediction takes its toll on Canada's "Fred la Marmotte"

Animals across the continent, from Nova Scotia's "Lucy the Lobster" to Oregonian "Stumptown Fil," are being forced to issue their best guess as to when the seasons will change. Rather than roll the dice on yet another dodgy prediction regarding when Winter will end, French Canadian groundhog "Fred Le Marmotte" has given up. An entire ceremony was planned wherein Fred's estimate was to be presented, however, instead, the event was used to announce his passing.

I hope he gets a jazz funeral.


And while science casts doubt on whether the lowland creatures are actually able to predict a late spring by seeing their own shadow, it's a comforting ritual.

Except in one tiny town in eastern Quebec, Canada, which had a little less luck this year. The province's own spring-predicting groundhog, lovingly nicknamed "Fred la marmotte" (groundhog in French), unexpectedly passed away before he was able to predict the remaining length of winter.

"As they say, in life, the only thing that's certain is that nothing is certain," the event's organizer Roberto Blondin said in a somber yet surprisingly dramatic announcement video, which has since gone viral.

"Well, this year it's true," he added. "It's true and it's unfortunate. I announce to you the death of Fred."