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It's Groundhog Day! Did Manitoba Merv see his shadow?

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It's Groundhog Day, but Manitoba's local celebrity groundhog Merv didn't bring good news to the province.

On Friday morning at Oak Hammock Marsh, which is undergoing renovations to its Wetland Discovery Centre, Manitoba Merv popped out wearing a construction vest, tool belt and hard hat. He was so shocked to see his shadow, he dropped his screwdriver he had been holding.

"He is all sad that we have six more weeks of winter in Manitoba," said Jacques Bourgeois, with the Wetland Discovery Centre. "Very sorry Manitobans. Don't put the shovels away just yet."

That means, by Merv's prediction, spring will come in mid-March.

According to the folklore – if the groundhog sees its shadow, Canadians will have to deal with winter for a while yet. But if it doesn't see its shadow, that means spring is on its way.

Bourgeois said even though there may be more winter on tap for the province, he is not too upset.

"It's been very unseasonably warm, and we need a bit more snow to refresh all those wetlands for the water fowl and the ducks to be thriving this summer," he said. "I am hoping for a bit more cold and snow this winter, so I am happy Merv's prediction."

Bourgeois said they hope to reopen the Wetland Discovery Centre later in the summer with new exhibits and themes for people to explore.

On the east coast Friday morning, Shubenacadie Sam waddled out of her barn in Nova Scotia, and brought good news for – she could not see her shadow. Shubenacadie Sam was the first groundhog in North America to make a prediction.

-with files from the Canadian Press

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