After the disastrous Groundhog Day ceremony last year when New York Mayor Bill de Blasio dropped and killed the animal, Staten Island Zoo officials say they will not ask the mayor to handle this year’s groundhog.
Scandals and controversies ensued following last year’s debacle. First, the groundhog presented to the city as “Chuck” was really “Charlotte.” Worse, zoo officials seem to have tried to cover up that the animal died after Mayor de Blasio dropped it during the Groundhog Day ceremony.
According to reports in September of last year, the groundhog that de Blasio dropped died of the internal injuries that resulted from the fall, but zoo officials tried to avoid telling the Mayor’s office about the death.
This year, zoo officials are trying to head off the whole mess by keeping Mayor de Blasio away from the next groundhog.
For his part, de Blasio joked about the groundhog’s death and said he approved of the changes in procedure for the next ceremony. “I must say, last time, there was not an overwhelming amount of preparation and orientation before I was handed him, may he rest in peace. I think reform is needed, [and] I welcome a new approach,” de Blasio said, laughing, during a recent unrelated press conference.
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