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.

NYC Zoo Won’t Let Mayor Hold Groundhogs Anymore