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Groundhog Day 2018: Mixed reviews, reporter gets BIT

Digital writers

Friday, February 2, 2018, 1:01 PM - Groundhog Day 2018 has brought in mixed reviews about whether we will see an early spring or six more weeks of winter. Nova Scotia's Shubenacadie Sam is also in the spotlight, not for his prediction, but for biting a news reporter trying to rescue him from a near escape. More below.

Groundhog Day is a popular tradition celebrated in North America on February 2. According to folklore, if the groundhog sees its shadow Friday it will return to its burrow, indicating that there will be six more weeks of winter. If it does not, spring will arrive early.

Here in Canada, we have Balzac Billy's prediction in Balzac, Alta., Manitoba Merv in Stonewall, Man., Shubenacadie Sam in Shubenacadie, N.S., Wiarton Willie in Wiarton, Ont., and Fred la marmotte in Val d'Espoir, Que.

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Shubenacadie Sam  says: SPRING! 

Nova Scotia's Shubenacadie Sam was the first to waddle out early Friday morning and did not see his shadow, meaning early spring is on the way. 

According to a report from CBC, fans cheered as Sam, who lives at the Shubenacadie Wildlife Park, roamed the snowy grounds Friday morning before his official prediction of early spring. 

After reveling in the news of warm weather on the way, things took a turn for the worse. Sam attempted to escape his enclosure and then bit CBC's Brett Ruskin who tried to rescue him. 

"I'm fine, by the way, Ruskin said on Twitter. "Sam's handlers from the Dept. of Natural Resources say I shouldn't need a shot. (I'm not the first to be bitten, apparently.) But also my front teeth are growing and there's fur all over me now."

Wiarton Willie  says: WINTER!

Excitement was building as crowds filled into Wiarton, Ontario Friday morning, including The Weather Network's very own Chris Murphy who was there for a LIVE look at Willie's prediction at 8:07 a.m. ET. Fans were cheering "Wake up Willie!"

Willie said, six more weeks of winter, coinciding with our own forecast of an extended frosty season. 

Fred la marmotte  says: SPRING!

Balzac Billy  says: SPRING!

Manitoba Merv (the puppet) says: SPRING!

Pennsylvania's Punxsutawney Phil  says: WINTER!

At about 7:18 a.m. ET, the most famous groundhog in the U.S., Punxsutawney Phil, saw his shadow, calling for six more weeks of winter. 

WATCH: Intense moments as Punxsutawney Phil reveals 2018 prediction

WATCH BELOW: Check out some of our favourite groundhog videos below

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