Staten Island Chuck has died, and he apparently didn't just peacefully pass on to "that big farm in the sky," as one NYC lawmaker puts it. Rather, as per the rather breathless New York Post, "Mayor Bill de Blasio has groundhog blood on his hands!" It seems that Chuck was found dead in his cage at the Staten Island Zoo a week after a Groundhog Day ceremony in which he slipped from the mayor's fingers and fell 6 feet. But the plot thickens: The "Chuck" who died wasn't Chuck (who rather famously bit Michael Bloomberg) at all, but rather Chuck's better half, Charlotte. And a necropsy has revealed she succumbed to "acute internal injuries" consistent with a fall.
Charlotte's death had been known to zoo supporters all along, but even they didn't know the morbid truth; the zoo kept it secret to protect $3.5 million in annual city funding. Chuck and Charlotte's daughter—also Charlotte—will stand in for her dad next year. Meanwhile, everyone will await the Law and Order: SVU dramatization of the cover-up. (Read more groundhog day stories.)