Poor Charles G. Hogg--a.k.a. Staten Island Chuck--doesn't get nearly as much attention as his Pennsylvania rival, Punxsutawney Phil.
Phil, who predicted an extra six weeks of winter by running away from his shadow Thursday morning, made a guest appearance on the Oprah in 1995. He has his own Beanie Baby, released by Ty Inc. until 2009. The 1993 comedy Groundhog Day is all about his hometown, Punxsutawney, and he was featured on an episode of the MTV series Viva La Bam.
Phil had 3,494 followers on Twitter Thursday morning, while Chuck had a meager 49.
The Staten Island critter, however, wasn't afraid to differ from his famous rival. When he awoke from hibernation at the borough's zoo on Thursday morning, he saw no shadow-leading New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg to translate, Six more weeks of warm weather and sun and a Giants win on Sunday's Super Bowl.
Chuck has been predicting the weather for three decades now, while Phil has been at it for 125 years. According to the Stormfax Weather Almanac, Phil has only been accurate 39 percent of the time. Officials at the Staten Island Zoo claim Chuck has made the right call 80 percent of the time, according to The New York Daily News.
Who will be right this year, Phil or Chuck? Although he may not be as well known, Chuck is quite the diva. Here are 5 facts about the lesser-known groundhog.
- Chuck is known as New York City's only meteorological prognosticator.
- Chuck and Mayor Bloomberg don't have the best relationship. In 2009, the critter bit the mayor on his hand, and last year called him a little son of a b*tch. Things went smoothly this year, however. If I get bit again ... I will bite back, Bloomberg said, according to The Daily News. Staten Island executive director Kenneth Mitchell, however, told the Guardian the two are friends.
- Chuck occasionally likes to tweet and go on Facebook, even in hibernation (with the help of his zookeepers). With the handle @chuckgroundhog, Chuck muses about the upcoming spring, his rivalry with Bloomberg, and unrelated current events. I bit Mayor Bloomberg, but I never bit #SteveJobs. He will be missed. RIP he wrote about the deceased Apple visionary in October. He is more popular on Facebook and has over 3,000 friends.
- In an exclusive interview with the Guardian, Chuck revealed (through his trainer Douglas Schwartz) that he is fed dandelions, sweet potatoes and corn-standard herbivorous groundhog fare.
- It appears that that Chuck may be a bit of a diva. According to the Guardian, Chuck spent Wednesday relaxing inside so he could prep for his big day. He also doesn't always like being held, as shown in 2009 when be bit Bloomberg.