NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Groundhog Day is Monday and Mayor Bill de Blasio is hoping the ceremony will go a little smoother this year.

During the annual Staten Island Zoo Groundhog Day ceremony last year, the zoo’s groundhog squirmed from de Blasio’s grasp after predicting six more weeks of winter and fell several feet to the ground.

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It died a week later, though its death was not revealed until September. An autopsy found it suffered internal injuries, but it was not clear if they stemmed from the fall.

It was also revealed that the animal was not the zoo’s famed Staten Island Chuck, but rather a female stand-in named Charlotte. The zoo did not notify the mayor’s office about the death.

The story prompted a flood of Twitter jokes about a #Groundhoghazi cover-up and de Blasio’s possible impeachment.

Speaking Friday, the mayor ridiculed his own animal handling abilities, WCBS 880’s Rich Lamb reported.

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“We have a task force 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. “There is a team of scientists working on that as we speak, so we’ll have an update shortly on that.”

Last year was de Blasio’s first time participating in the ceremony. The mayor’s office has not yet announced whether he will attend this year’s event.

It wasn’t the first time a mayor has had an unfortunate run-in with a Staten Island groundhog: Chuck bit then-Mayor Michael Bloomberg in 2009.

The zoo has four groundhogs, all with the variations of the brand name “Chuck.” On the morning of Feb. 2, zoo staff selects which of the groundhogs will participate in the ceremony and be dubbed Chuck for the day.

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