Looks like New York can expect an early spring, according to New York City’s official groundhog meteorologist.
Staten Island Chuck made his 2017 weather prediction live from the Staten Island Zoo Thursday morning, a tradition since 1981.
Chuck, however, is not in agreement with Punxatawney Phil, who has been predicting since 1886 in Pennsylvania. Phil saw his shadow this morning, which means six more weeks of winter, the legend says.
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CHUCK VS NYC MAYORS
Fear not, animal activists: Chuck was in the hands of Public Advocate Letitia James, not Mayor Bill de Blasio, who skipped the ceremony for the second year in a row.
The mayor caused an infamous firestorm of outrage after he dropped Chuck’s stand-in, his granddaughter, Charlotte, in 2014 when she tried to crawl up his arm.
Days later, Charlotte died from “acute internal injuries,” the New York Post reported, though the zoo denied de Blasio played a part in her death.
“New Yorkers should be pleased to know that Chuck will be in safe and steady hands,” James said in a statement before the event.
City mayors have not had a good track record with Chuck. Former Mayor Michael Bloomberg did not attend the ceremony five times during his 12 years in office.
One time that he did, in 2009, the rodent bit him, perhaps to let him know what he though of his absences? According to the Post, Bloomberg called Chuck a “little son of a bitch” after the bite heard ’round the city.