NEW YORK CITY— One of the perks of being mayor of New York City is that you can enlist the finest minds to help you solve problems.
So the mayor said Friday that he'll be prepped by experts to attend this year's Groundhog Day event after he dropped Staten Island Chuck at the Staten Island Zoo last year. The groundhog died after the fall.
"We have a taskforce of emergency preparedness officials and health officials who are trying to figure out how to wrap me in platinum so that no harm will befall me or any groundhog in the vicinity of me," de Blasio joked at a press conference in Brooklyn.
"There's a team of scientists working.......as we speak," he said.
The mayor said he didn't know if the event would be on his calendar this year.
"We announce generally our schedule closer to the actual day because a lot of things are going on," said de Blasio.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg missed five Groundhog Day events during his 12-year tenure. He also didn't have luck with the animal, getting bitten by Staten Island Chuck one year.
Last year, Staten Island Chuck, actually a stand in named Charlotte, squirmed when the mayor picked her up and ended up falling a few feet to the stage. De Blasio is 6-foot-5.
The groundhog predicted six more weeks of winter in what was unknowingly her final performance.
Charlotte died a week later from internal injuries consistent with a fall, the New York Post reported.
A spokesman for the zoo told DNAinfo New York last year that Charlotte showed no signs of trauma or pain during a medical examination after the spill. The zoo blamed the groundhog's death on injuries she got the week of Groundhog Day, but not from the fall.
"Given the results of the necropsy, the incident appears to have been sudden. It appears unlikely that the animal’s death is related to the events on Groundhog Day," the spokesman said.