Staten Island Zoo No Longer Willing to Risk Groundhog Lives for the Sake of Dubious Weather Prediction

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Photo: NYC Mayor's Office/flickr

As was rumored back in September, New York City’s official Groundhog Day headquarters will cease the practice of forcing the mayor — or any amateur — to handle Staten Island Chuck (or any of his many stand-ins) as he seeks his own shadow on February 2. “No one will be allowed to touch the groundhog,” a “zoo insider” told the New York Post. Instead, the rodent “will be placed in a comfy glass or plexiglass box for the ceremony.” While the insider did not elaborate, the policy change appears to be a response to last year’s debacle, in which de Blasio dropped the squirming groundhog, possibly leaving it with internal injuries that led to its untimely death. Call it progress.