Staten Island Chuck

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Staten Island Chuck's house.

Staten Island Chuck, also referred to more formally as Charles G. Hogg, is a groundhog who resided in the Staten Island Zoo in Staten Island, New York City. He serves as the official groundhog meteorologist of New York City, who predicts the duration of winter each February 2 on Groundhog Day. The tradition dates to 1981.[1] He makes the prediction based on whether or not he sees his shadow at 7:30 A.M. on Groundhog Day. The ceremony at the zoo is often attended and officiated by the Mayor of New York City. Chuck's prediction for 2011 was early spring, similar to that of Punxsutawney Phil.[2]

Chuck has a contentious relationship with former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, whom he notoriously bit in 2009. In 2012, the mayor did not attend the ceremony for the fifth time out of 12 years in office. No reason for his absence was provided.[3] Because of the Bloomberg incident, Chuck was secretly replaced by his mate, Charlotte, for the first ceremony of Bill de Blasio. Despite this, de Blasio dropped the groundhog during his first ceremony.[4] Charlotte died February 9, 2014, although the Staten Island Zoo did not make this public until several months later. Reports conflict about the cause of death; a report in the New York Post attributed the death to injuries sustained in the de Blasio incident, a charge that the zoo denies (the zoo's official stance is that Charlotte was not injured in the fall and that she died of unknown natural causes).[5]

Chuck's daughter, Charlotte Jr., will serve in the same capacity for 2015.[5] Although the original Chuck (as far is it is known) is still alive, he has been permanently retired out of fear he may bite again.

Past predictions[edit]

The Staten Island Zoo claims that Chuck has correctly predicted the duration of winter 26 out of 32 years as of 2013, an 82% success rate.[6]

Year Prediction Notes
2014 6 more weeks of winter Concurred with Punxsutawney Phil
2012 early spring In Contrast to Punxsutawney Phil's predicted six more weeks of winter.
2011 early spring Punxsutawney Phil also predicted early spring(Featured on 1 episode of Cake Boss).
2010 early spring Again in contrast to Punxsutawney Phil's prediction of six more weeks of winter.
2009 early spring In contrast to Punxsutawney Phil's prediction of six more weeks of winter.
In this notorious prediction, Chuck bit Mayor Michael Bloomberg during the ceremony.[7]
2008 early spring[8]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Notes

  1. ^ "Beyond Punxsutawney: Meet the Other Groundhogs" by Elizabeth Hanes. February 1, 2013 History.com[1]
  2. ^ "Staten Island Chuck Predicts An Early Spring". NY1.com. 2011-02-02. 
  3. ^ Lemire, Jonathan. "Groundhog Day 2013: Staten Island Chuck predicts early spring for New York City" New York Daily News (February 2, 2013)
  4. ^ Wrobleski, Tom. Fumbled Chuck joins 'forkgate' among de Blasio's Staten Island flubs (photos, video). Staten Island Advance. Retrieved February 2, 2014.
  5. ^ a b Tacopina, Joe et al. (September 25, 2014). Zoo in coverup after groundhog dropped by de Blasio dies. New York Post. Retrieved September 25, 2014.
  6. ^ Lavis, Ryan. "Groundhog Day 2014: Staten Island Chuck versus Punxsutawney Phil" Staten Island Advance (February 1, 2014)
  7. ^ "Bloomberg's groundhog attack". Newsday. 2009-02-02. 
  8. ^ Associated Press (2008-02-02). "NYC area's furry forecasters weighing in on winter". Newsday. 

External links[edit]