Ducks are popular creatures. And, of the ducks, the Mallard is perhaps the most popular (it even has an Apple emoji). And, thanks to a very tall Mallard, fittingly named “Long Boi,” the species is growing infinitely more popular — as Twitter obsesses over the York, England resident.
Many casual duck enthusiasts may be more familiar with the yellow rubber ducky. Those things are cool, as they fit in the palm of your hand, are sold with different outfits, and can float around your bathtub. But the Mallard, proud and crested with an emerald green, is an entirely different pedigree of waterfowl.
According to more informed fans of the well-postured waterfowl, there is a strong possibility that Long Boi is partly Mallard and partly Indian Runner — a distinct breed of duck known for its ability to run rather than waddle.
The duck even has an Instagram account. Zoe Duffin, who runs Long Boi’s Instagram account, said the duck, who is a cross between a Mallard and an Indian Runner duck, is a “campus celebrity” and actually stands at around 70cm.
“I think everyone at York can say we are all very proud of Long Boi, our waterfowl are very loved and central to the university experience here at York,” Zoe said.
The third year biology student, who runs the account along with second year biology student Liam Foskett, said they started the Instagram dedicated to the duck when he turned up on campus in 2018.
“We believed that he had been dumped as an unwanted pet,” Ms Duffin said, “We started feeding and taking photos of him, coining the name Long Boi due to his tall stature! We did feel a bit sorry for him, as he didn’t fit in with all the other ducks and was being shunned by them, he seemed quite lonely. Over time he’s grown quite a following with York students, he’s quite a campus celebrity, and has since flourished and integrated with the other waterfowl.”
Ms Duffin said she was “completely blown away” by Long Boi’s sudden rise to fame.
“I’m loving seeing all the memes, and hearing how much joy he’s spreading to others.”
The tall duck has now reached over 24,1k followers on Instagram, and was tweeted about by footballer Peter Crouch – who stands at 6ft 7in – who called Long Boi “my kind of duck”.
At this point, it’s hard to know who to believe about the Mallard’s height or genetic composition. Like America’s Bigfoot or Scotland’s Loch Ness Monster, Long Boi is approaching mythical status.