Whelan Woody predicts early spring

By Nigel Maxwell
February 2, 2018 - 12:00pm

Saskatchewan's only groundhog did not see his shadow Friday morning, meaning spring might be around the corner.

Whelan Woody lives in Whelan Bay north of Candle Lake. Woody's handler Richard Burton said the 10 lbs. rodent was moving a bit slow.

“I had to roust him up as he is pretty grouchy in the morning,” Burton said. “8:49 a.m. was sunrise, so I took him up to the upstairs loft bedroom where the sun shines through the patio door if it's sunny. That's his favourite spot.”

Whelan Woody is not your typical groundhog. Burton and his wife Shanno Lidster have raised him since he was a baby, and he sleeps in the house where he has his own litter box. 

In addition to predicting spring’s arrival, Woody is also a diehard Riders fan and according to Burton, loves to eat nuts and chips while watching the game. Last year Woody predicted his favourite team would have a better season.

"This year the Riders prediction is we are going to the Grey Cup," Burton said.

Burton said they had a bit of a scare with Woody four months ago. Doctors discovered he had an infected lymph node.

"He's been on antibiotics and his hair coat has all come back... but he's probably gonna need an operation," Burton said.

Woody's Canadian cousins had different takes on how much longer winter is going to hang around.

Nova Scotia's Shubenacadie Sam did not see his shadow, whereas Wiarton Willie did meaning six more weeks of winter.


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On Twitter: @nigelmaxwell


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