With a solid track record so far, Vancouver Island Violet saw her shadow this morning on Groundhog Day, giving the Island another six weeks of winter.
According to the Marmot Recovery Foundation, Violet - a certified groundhog - also got a quick health check after her wintery prognostication, and regrouped.
Marmots are paired to maximize genetic diversity within the very small population of the endangered species, the foundation noted. Adult marmots that emerge from hibernation together are more likely to breed than if they are introduced after they have already woken up.
The Island marmot is endemic to Canada and one of only a small handful of mammals to occur in the country and nowhere else. In 2004, less than 30 remained in the wild. The population has been recovering since the species nearly went extinct, but thanks to the foundation, their population has risen.
The Marmot Recovery Foundation works with the Toronto and Calgary zoos for their captive-breeding programs in addition to their facility on Mount Washington.
As for Violet’s accuracy, she has a 100 per cent accurate track record, however, she only assumed Groundhog Day duties in 2022, when she predicted six more weeks of winter.
“We were still skiing on Father’s Day 19 weeks later last year, arguably making Violet 300 per cent correct. Beat that, weather models!” wrote the foundation on its social media page.