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Is New York Mayor Bill de Blasio to blame for groundhog’s death?

Back in February, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio had trouble keeping a firm grasp on “Staten Island Chuck,” the groundhog who predicted six weeks of winter. “Chuck” tumbled nearly 6 feet to the ground. And now, the New York Post has discovered that “Chuck” died a week later.

Staten Island Zoo officials went to great lengths to hide the death from the public — and keep secret the fact that “Chuck” was actually “Charlotte,” a female impostor, sources said Wednesday.

The New York Post reports the Staten Island Zoo stand-in was found dead in her enclosure on Feb. 9, just a week after the incident. And according to sources, a necropsy showed she died from “acute internal injuries” consistent with a fall.

The true cause of death was not revealed, according to the report.

Instead of revealing the sad loss, the zoo — which gets nearly half of its $3.5 million in annual funding from the city — told the staff to keep the mayor’s office in the dark about the animal’s fate.

They told only a few zoo supporters — but claimed that the groundhog had died of natural causes.

The zoo disputes the report that de Blasio’s drop had anything to do with the animal’s death.

“It appears unlikely that the animal’s death is related to the events on Groundhog Day,” the spokesman said.

And what about the fact that the groundhog wasn’t who everyone thought it was? They were worried Chuck would bite the mayor as he did to Mayor Michael Bloomberg in 2009. So they quietely called in for the backup, and didn’t make it public to protect the “groundhog brand,” according to a source.

And more importantly, not only do we know the mayor isn’t very good at holding large rodents, but he also isn’t very good at dancing.

Via New York Post