THE long-term forecast is sure to hold grief for many fans of Winnipeg Willow.

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This article was published 30/1/2016 (2066 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

THE long-term forecast is sure to hold grief for many fans of Winnipeg Willow.

The beloved woodchuck from the Prairie Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre has died. She was five years old.

The not-for-profit organization announced Willow’s death Friday in a Facebook post.

"We are in complete shock and sadness, with tears coming down our face to announce the passing of Winnipeg Willow this evening. She was acting her normal self this morning and eating a carrot but (we) came in this evening to find her gone," said the post.

Willow arrive to the centre in 2010 after her mother was killed by a dog. The hope was to rehabilitate her and release her back into the wild, but she broke her leg in an outdoor enclosure.

Willow, along with Oak Hammock Marsh’s puppet groundhog, Manitoba Merv, has been a staple of many Groundhog Days in Winnipeg.

Because of her death, the Groundhog Day event scheduled for Tuesday at Cabela’s has been cancelled, but organizers are predicting an early spring.

"We loved trying to predict the upcoming forecast, and I think we only got one season right. From her current behaviour this past winter, we were going to predict an early spring as she was eager to head outdoors," the Facebook post said. "We miss you already Willow... have fun running through the meadows."