Feb. 2, 1981
Groundhog Charles G. Hogg, a.k.a. Staten Island Chuck, has been predicting the weather since 1981. His predictions have been right 21 out of 27 times. Chuck lives in the Staten Island Zoo, and his favorite foods are corn and sweet potatoes.
Chuck’s caretaker, zookeeper Doug Schwartz, works with the rodent, and the zoo hosts a large media event each February 2. (The zoo skipped 1987 in deference to the 100th anniversary of the Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania event.) Schwartz began working with the groundhogs (there have been six under his command) in 1995. As groundhogs are generally surly creatures, keeping the animals in captivity is slightly difficult, and groundhog handlers must be skilled and highly patient. So in order to acclimate the animal to the spotlight, Schwartz took the most recent incarnation of Staten Island Chuck home with him in advance of Groundhog Day 2007. (The Staten Island groundhog normally lives in the basement of the zoo.) The current Chuck weighs ten pounds, and his parents are Chuck G. Hogg, Sr. and Charlotte Hogg. Staten Island Zoo officials also take pride in Chuck’s good behavior, claiming that he has a better disposition than most weather–predicting groundhogs.
Staten Island Chuck’s All–Time Forecasting Record (Courtesy of the Staten Island Zoo)
1987 No Report*
*Chuck deferred to Punxsutawaney Phil on the 100th anniversary of the Punxsutawney Groundhog Day tradition.
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