Staten Island “Chuck” is dead.
The groundhog was being held, not very well, apparently, by NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio last February.
It was a cold day and the mayor, a bit nervous, let Chuck slip through his gloved hands.
Chuck dived to the ground where he was picked up by horrified zoo staff at Staten Island Zoo.
Chuck was problematic from the start. There were concerns he would bite the mayor, as he has done with other mayors int he past.
Hence, de Blasio’s decision to wear thick suede gloves that may have been slippery.
So Chuck was actually substituted with another groundhog, a more gentle one, the zoo hoped.
Charlotte got the call to pinch in and she was the one brought out for the photo op.
As the NY Post puts it: the zoo doesn’t make public that it uses a substitute because it may affect the “groundhog brand.’
The tabloid paper goes even further and alleges that the Staten Island Zoo was involved in a cover-up after Charlotte was found dead one week after the Feb 2nd photo op.
The paper’s sources claims the groundhog died of internal injuries that were consistent with a fall.
The zoo denies this:
It appears unlikely that the animal’s death is related to the events on Groundhog Day.”
The mayor’s office was unaware of Charlotte’s death.
h/t: NY Post