Staten Island Chuck Predicts Early Spring

Staten Island Chuck did not see his shadow on Groundhog Day, predicting that it will be an early Spring.

If Chuck had seen his shadow, it would have meant another six weeks of winter.  The groundhog disagreed with Punxsutawney Phil, who did see his shadow earlier in the morning.  A third groundhog, Malverne Mel, agreed with Phil in predicting a longer winter.

WOR's Alice Stockton Rossini on Groundhog Day

Mayor Bill de Blasio skipped the event at the Staten Island Zoo for a second straight year.  Back in 2014, the mayor accidentally dropped the groundhog named Charlotte, which later died.  The zoo said it’s unlikely the two events were related.

"He should have showed up," one person told WOR's Alice Stockton Rossini.

A spokesman for Mayor de Blasio told the Staten Island Advance that the mayor is too busy to attend the annual ceremony.

“He hasn’t attended in recent years.  It’s a big city with a lot going on and a lot to manage,” spokesman Eric Phillips said.  “Groundhogs don’t always make the cut.”

WOR's Alice Stockton Rossini on Groundhog Day

Some in attendance for the ceremony didn't miss the mayor.

"It's all about Chuck.  It's not about the mayor," one person said.

After de Blasio dropped the groundhog, changes were made.  Instead of the mayor lifting the groundhog in the air, Chuck has to remain in an enclosure.  The groundhog’s handler is the only one allowed to remove him.

In 2009, Mayor Michael Bloomberg was bitten on his left hand by Staten Island Chuck.  That came after Bloomberg tried several times to lure the groundhog toward him and then lifted him up for the crowd to see.

Source: Staten Island Advance

Photo Credit: Getty Images

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