A duck has become a local hero on a tiny island in the Pacific, as it somehow made its way there to become the only duck on the island.
Trevor, as the mallard has affectionately been known, turned up on the Pacific atoll of Niue earlier this year. The island has a population of 1,600 people and, crucially, no ducks.
Except for Trevor that is, who has become a bit of a celebrity. The island, which is specifically a coral atoll, lacks any wetlands or ponds, where a duck would normally make its home, so Trevor has been hanging out in a puddle near the airport. The local fire service and volunteers have been making sure the puddle doesn’t run dry.
“Everyone’s familiar with Trevor,” said Kirk Yates, the New Zealand high commissioner in Niue, reported The Guardian. “This is a small place right and a little celebrity duck is a novelty and people are quite concerned for its welfare.”
No one is completely sure how the duck made it to the island. The predominant theory is that he flew there, perhaps blown by a storm. But another theory is that he stowed away on a ship.
"There was a boat in the harbour about three days before the duck was first sighted in its puddle," Claire Trevett, deputy political editor of the New Zealand Herald, told ABC News. She came upon the duck while visiting the island, with someone giving her directions to “turn right past the duck”.
While there are other birds on the island, there are no other ducks for it to socialize with (“It’s got no mates,” said Trevett) and is having a bit of a sad time. So the future of the duck is uncertain, with some suggestions it should be taken to New Zealand.
Stranded animal fans might remember the story of Nigel the gannet, who lived a lonely life on the uninhabited island of Mana from 2013 to 2018. Conservation officers placed replica gannets around him to keep him company, but when three real gannets arrived, he died weeks later.
Hopefully, the story of Trevor will be a little less somber. Some have suggested making similarly fake wooden ducks to keep him company. For now, he’s living alone in his puddle as a local celebrity.