It's one day before Groundhog Day and the groundhog is dead.
No, not that one. Pennsylvania's own Punxsutawney Phil is just fine, resting up for his big day Tuesday.
But Canada's weather-watching woodchuck, Winnipeg Willow, died Friday night, likely of old age, at the wildlife rehabilitation center where she's lived since a dog killed her mother five years ago. And Groundhog Day celebrations in Manitoba capital city have been canceled.
Punxsutawney Phil's people were surprised by news of his colleague's death - but also surprised by news of her existence.
"There is no other groundhog like Phil," said Jeff Grube of the Groundhog Club's Inner Circle, volunteers who care for Phil year-round and run the annual Groundhog Day festivities in central Pennsylvania's Jefferson County. "It all started here. We're in our 130th year."
Not one to kick someone when they're down, Grube wouldn't go so far as to call Winnipeg Willow - and Phil's other competitors like Georgia's General Beauregard Lee, Ohio's Buckeye Chuck, West Virginia's French Creek Freddie or Canada's Wiarton Willie, Balzac Billie and Manitoba Merv - a fraud. And there will be no groundhog smackdowns to determine whose predictions will prevail.
Still, Grube noted that Punxsutawney Phil is "the standard" when it comes to predicting spring's arrival.
"We're not too worried about what the other ones do," Grube said, adding that the Groundhog Club has a worldwide membership of about 1,000 people (anyone can join), a core "inner circle" of 15 volunteers and a full-time, paid executive director who works year-round to ensure a successful Groundhog Day.
Phil already has been busy all weekend attending events in Punxsutawney and gearing up for his forecast, set for 7:25 a.m. Tuesday morning. But not too busy: His handlers try to leave him be, or as much as they can considering thousands of people have swarmed town to see him.