"Chuck says Spring is coming!" Mayor Bill de Blasio said at the Staten Island Zoo Monday morning even as snow and sub-freezing temperatures slammed into the city.
Staten Island Chuck, New York’s own groundhog weather forecaster, didn't see his shadow after he peeked from a new glass pen as the mayor stood a good six feet away.
The mayor returned to the zoo for the first time since he dropped last year’s furry weather forecaster. That Chuck — actually a female critter named Charlotte — died shortly thereafter from internal injuries.
Zoo officials were reluctant at the time to say the fall from de Blasio's heavily gloved clutches was the cause. It might have died from an unrelated fall after last year's ceremonies, the zoo said last fall.
"We had a lot of people working – and based on consultations with the zoo – have come up with a new, progressive, exciting approach to groundhog diplomacy on this day," de Blasio told reporters.
"Good news all around. Chuck, I want to thank you for this new approach," the mayor added. "I think we finally understand each other."