2007_01_sichuck.jpgThese days, the most famous Staten Islander we know is Staten Island Chuck (sorry, Molinari!), the Staten Island Zoo's groundhog. Groundhog Day is just three weeks away, and the NY Times looks at the preparation the zoo and Chuck are doing in the run-up. Cue the montage sequence of Staten Island Chuck in training!

For instance, his trainer Douglas Schwartz, zookeeper for the tropical rainforest section, brings the groundhog to his home by way of the bus and subway so Chuck is acclimated to the public. Reporter Andy Newman writes, "The hope is that when he makes his big debut next month he will not bite Regis in the face, or leave something unfortunate on Diane Sawyer’s desk, or, worst of all, see his shadow in the klieg lights and shrink back into his pet carrier for six weeks." It's sad to learn that Chuck lives in a basement cage (there's no money for Chuck's own exhibit), but he seems to be okay as he only had a "brain the size of a cashew."

The best part of the article would be the various reactions people on the bus and train have when seeing Chuck (“Y’all just caught that?” - hee!). And Chuck was born last year in NJ; he is the sixth Staten Island Chuck that Schwartz has trained. Here are details about Staten Island Chuck's Groundhog Day Ceremony.