Tags: bill de blasio | groundhog | dropped | died | zoo | cover-up

Groundhog Dropped by Bill de Blasio Died a Week Later, Zoo Cover-Up Reveals

By    |   Thursday, 25 Sep 2014 08:51 PM

The groundhog dropped by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio on Groundhog Day in February this year died a week later, the New York Post reported Thursday, saying the Staten Island Zoo "went to great lengths to hide the death from the public."

The zoo also didn’t disclose that the groundhog used in the city photo op actually wasn’t Chuck — the famous groundhog who bit former Mayor Michael Bloomberg — but a stand-in named Charlotte, sources told the Post. Zoo officials were reportedly worried Chuck would have a repeat performance.

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Sources told the Post that Charlotte was found dead in her pen on Feb. 9 and a necropsy found “acute internal injuries.”

Instead of coming clean, and the Post insinuated it was because they were concerned about funding from the city which totals more than $1.5 million every year, the zoo said Charlotte died of natural causes.

Charlotte fell about 6 feet when de Blasio was unable to keep a tight grip on the wriggly animal.

“I was told he died of old age, that he went to that big farm in the sky,” Assemblyman Matthew Titone (D-SI), believing the dead groundhog was Chuck, told the Post.

A zoo spokesperson told the Post that it was “unlikely that the animal’s death is related to the events on Groundhog Day,” and that Charlotte seemed find after falling.

The mayor’s office didn’t know the animal was dead, the newspaper said.

The New York Times ran a series of photos showing Charlotte’s fall from the mayor’s arms, and led with a tongue-in-cheek whodunit reference, “A sudden death. A mayor in yellow suede gloves. A fall — or was it two? — that might have proved fatal. And a groundhog named Chuck, until it wasn’t.”

A zoo spokesperson told the Times that rules about contact were being rewritten. He called it “more than likely” that the mayor and groundhogs wouldn’t be chummy every February in the future.

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The groundhog dropped by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio on Groundhog Day in February this year died a week later, the New York Post reported Thursday, saying the Staten Island Zoo went to great lengths to hide the death from the public.
bill de blasio, groundhog, dropped, died, zoo, cover-up
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2014-51-25
Thursday, 25 Sep 2014 08:51 PM
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