Who’s this for a bad omen?

Fred La Marmotte, the revered groundhog who usually predicts whether Quebec will see an early spring or not, died just before it was able to share its forecast with the province.

His death occurred on the eve of the worst cold snap to hit the province this winter. So probably not a good sign if you believe in his powers to predict weather.

According to the Montreal Gazette, Fred was found dead early Thursday morning, not long before it would have been tasked with finding its own shadow. Roberto Blondin, the organizer of la Jour de Marmotte committee, explained that the groundhog was unresponsive when the organizers checked up on him during the night.

“This year, it’s true. It’s sadly true,” said Blondin on the event’s livestream. “I’m announcing the death of Fred.”

Despite Fred’s passing, the event still took place in Val D’Espoir, Quebec, though with changes. A child was chosen to stand in for Fred and give the prediction instead.

In lieu of a live groundhog, Blondin handed the child a stuffed groundhog and let her do the predicting.

“Spring is delayed,” the child declared.

Blondin promised Fred Junior’s appearance for the 2024 spring prediction.