By Nina Mandell
MANHATTAN — There were only two questions on everyone's mind as curious onlookers gathered around Staten Island Chuck on Groundhog Day:
1. Will it be an early spring?
2. Will he bite Mayor Michael Bloomberg again?
Taking precautions this year, the mayor — who is still sporting a scar on his finger after being bitten by Chuck last year – sported heavy-duty gloves when he picked up the groundhog. Staten Island Chuck did not see his shadow so, according to Groundhog Day lore, warmer weather is on the way soon.
Bloomberg looked comfortable holding the groundhog for the camera, but said last year his actions were for the good of the city.
“My finger was the only thing that stood between this groundhog and the people of New York,” he joked.
This year, he said Chuck put up a good fight, but with the gloves, he had come prepared.
“You have to be careful,” he said.
While Chuck, whose full name is Charles G. Hogg, didn’t see his shadow, rival groundhogs like Punxsutawney Phil from Punxsutawney, Pa. saw his — meaning he predicts it will be at six weeks until warmer weather.
Staten Island Chuck has successfully predicted the arrival of spring 23 out of the last 27 times.
Nova Scotia's Shubenacadie Sam also saw his shadow.