Ontario's Wiarton Willie died last year, residents just finding out now

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Ontario's Wiarton Willie has died.

South Bruce Peninsula Mayor Janice Jackson made the announcement today.

The famed rodent died due a tooth abscess before last year’s Groundhog Day ceremony.

Last year's event featured a video without Willie.

This year, a live, in-person event will return on Feb. 2, 2022, but with a brown groundhog.

Mayor Jackson says they adopted a brown groundhog to take Willie’s place this year, and a failed search for an albino rodent.

Jackson says, as sad as they are to lose albino Willie, they are excited about the return of a live, in-person prediction morning.