The groundhog dropped by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio earlier this year tragically died just a week later — and she wasn’t the groundhog everyone thought she was.
The New York Post reports that the groundhog de Blasio dropped was actually one named “Charlotte,” not “Staten Island Chuck.” Zoo officials feared Chuck would bite de Blasio in the same fashion he did Mayor Michael Bloomberg in 2009.
“Charlotte” squirmed to get out of de Blasio’s hands as soon as she was handed to him. About a week after Groundhog Day, on Feb. 9, Charlotte was found dead of “acute internal injuries,” according to zoo officials.
The Staten Island Zoo, which receives about half of its annual funding from the city, did not inform the mayor’s office and instructed others to keep quiet about it. The few people they did tell were informed Charlotte died of “natural causes,” according to the Post.
However, a spokesman for the zoo told the Post it’s “unlikely” the Groundhog Day fiasco contributed in any way to Charlotte’s death.
“It appears unlikely that the animal’s death is related to the events on Groundhog Day,” the spokesman said.
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