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 2016 was early spring, similar to that of Punxsutawney Phil.[2]

Chuck had a contentious relationship with New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, whom he notoriously bit in 2009.[3] 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.[4] Because of the Bloomberg incident, Chuck was secretly replaced by his granddaughter, Charlotte, for the first ceremony of Bill de Blasio. Despite this, de Blasio dropped the groundhog during his first ceremony.[5] 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).[6][7]

Chuck's daughter, Charlotte Jr., served in the same capacity for 2015.[6] On February 2, 2015, this female "Staten Island Chuck" walked out of a hutch that an elevator had lifted onto the stage of a portable Plexiglass habitat, while de Blasio watched from six feet (1.8 m) away.[8] De Blasio will not attend the 2016 ceremonies and will be in Iowa campaigning for Hillary Clinton's Presidential bid; Lieutenant Governor of New York Kathy Hochul will officiate the groundhog ceremony in de Blasio's stead (Hochul is not a New York City resident or native; her home territory of Western New York is served by a rival groundhog, Dunkirk Dave).[9] Although the original Chuck (as far as 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.[10]

Year Prediction Notes
2016 Early spring Punxsutawney Phil also predicted early spring.
2015 Early spring opposite Punxsutawney Phil
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.
2008 Early spring[11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Beyond Punxsutawney: Meet the Other Groundhogs" by Elizabeth Hanes. February 1, 2013[1]
  2. ^ "Staten Island Chuck Predicts An Early Spring". February 2, 2011. 
  3. ^ Santos, Fernanda (February 2, 2009). "Reclusive Staten Island Groundhog Bites Mayor". The New York Times. Retrieved February 3, 2015. 
    (2) McWeeney, Michael (February 2, 2009). Video:. "Mayor Bloomberg bitten by groundhog". Staten Island Advance. YouTube. Retrieved February 3, 2015.  External link in |work= (help)
  4. ^ Lemire, Jonathan. "Groundhog Day 2013: Staten Island Chuck predicts early spring for New York City" New York Daily News (February 2, 2013)
  5. ^ (1) DeFalco, Beth; Tacopino, Joe (February 2, 2014). "De Blasio drops NYC‘s Punxsutawney Phil’". New York Post. Retrieved February 3, 2015. 
    (2) Wrobleski, Tom. Fumbled Chuck joins 'forkgate' among de Blasio's Staten Island flubs (photos, video). Staten Island Advance. Retrieved February 2, 2014.
  6. ^ a b Tacopino, Joe; Campanile, Carl; O'Neil, Natalie (September 25, 2014). "Zoo in coverup after groundhog dropped by de Blasio dies". New York Post. Retrieved February 3, 2015. 
  7. ^ Gay, Mara (September 25, 2014). "Video: Staten Island Groundhog Dies Days After Mayor de Blasio Drops It". WSJ Blogs: Metropolis (The Wall Street Journal). Retrieved February 3, 2015.  External link in |work= (help)
  8. ^ (1) Flegenheimer, Matt (February 2, 2015). "New Rule for Mayor de Blasio and Staten Island Chuck: Hands Off On Groundhog Day, a New Script and a Sign of Spring in New York City". The New York Times. Retrieved February 3, 2015. 
    (2) Washington Free Beacon Staff (January 8, 2015). "De Blasio banned from holding groundhog after last year's cold-blooded murder". Washington Free Beacon. Retrieved February 3, 2015. 
  9. ^ "Sources: Hochul will replace de Blasio for Groundhog Day duties". Politico New York. January 29, 2016. Retrieved January 29, 2016. 
  10. ^ Lavis, Ryan. "Groundhog Day 2014: Staten Island Chuck versus Punxsutawney Phil" Staten Island Advance (February 1, 2014)
  11. ^ Associated Press (2008-02-02). "NYC area's furry forecasters weighing in on winter". Newsday. 

External links[edit]