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De Blasio To Skip Annual Groundhog Day Ceremony At Staten Island Zoo

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Mayor Bill de Blasio won't be going to the Groundhog Day ceremony at the Staten Island Zoo this year.

De Blasio is skipping the annual tradition so he can campaign in Iowa for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, CBS2 reported.

Staten Island Chuck, which was really a female groundhog named Charlotte, famously slipped from de Blasio's grasp during his first Groundhog Day ceremony as mayor.

The animal died a few weeks later, apparently from internal injuries.

"I think if there were a groundhog union, they would ask me to miss Groundhog Day," de Blasio joked on Thursday.

It wasn't the first time a mayor has had an unfortunate run-in with a Staten Island groundhog: A squirming Chuck bit then-Mayor Michael Bloomberg in 2009.

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