Manitobans could be in for an early spring, or at least spring-like weather, according to Manitoba Merv at Oak Hammock Marsh.


Natalie Bays, manager of operations at Oak Hammock Marsh says, Manitoba Merv came out of his hiding spot just in time for sunrise.

"We have our ethical Manitoba Merv groundhog puppet that makes its quite accurate prediction every year. He just came out at 8:01 a.m. and looked

around and did not see his shadow. So in theory, that would mean an early spring for Manitoba," said Bays.

For the past 24 years, Manitoba Merv has correctly predicted the arrival of spring-like weather, with only one mistake.

However, Winnipeg Wyn had another story to tell. At 9:00 a.m. in the lobby of Fort Whyte Alive, she made the prediction of six more weeks of winter. This was much like her prediction debut back in 2017. 

Sheila Smith spoke on behalf of Wyn and the Prairie Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre. "We don't do the traditional look for the shadow. We look at behavior. Wyn's behavior has indicated that we will have six more weeks of winter. She's very sluggish, and only comes out of hiding for peanuts."

Winnipeg Wyn was found orphaned in May 2016 by local firefighters near their fire station. 

Prairie Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre attempted to rehabilitate her and introduce her to a new groundhog family. Unfortunately, she was rejected by the new family. Prairie Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre volunteers decided then to keep her as an education ambassador.

Smith says, "the tradition comes from seeing groundhogs around springtime. Males are always the first to leave their dens as they search for females in the area. When people would see the males about, they would know that springtime was near."

You can see Winnipeg Wyn in person at the Children's Museum from 12:00 to 5:00 p.m. Friday, February 2.