Trevor the duck had become a viral sensation, hailed far and wide as the "only duck in Niue".
How Trevor, a mallard, ended up in the remote island of Niue is a mystery, but he soon put the tiny nation on the map and was hailed as an “excellent ambassador for Niue”.
With none of the wetlands mallards usually reside in available to him, he had taken up residence in a puddle. Locals were vigilant in topping up his puddle if the water level ever dipped. On occasions, the fire brigade even took it upon themselves to bring more water for his lodgings.
Sadly, his improbable and wildly popular stay in Niue has been cut short after he was fatally attacked by dogs.
— BBC (@BBC) January 30, 2019
Trevor was a local celebrity on Niue
Hailed as the ‘world’s loneliest duck’ because of the complete absence of other mallards in Niue, Trevor may not have had any mallard company, but he was a much-loved figure and had his own Facebook page, maintained by the Head of Niue’s Chamber of Commerce, Rae Findlay.
While perhaps not as photogenic as Manhattan’s ‘Hot duck’, another unlikely transplant, he had a similar following and many locals carried oats to give him a snack whenever they passed his puddle. The High Commissioner to New Zealand would feed him pieces of bok choy.
Findlay said Trevor had arrived in Niue in January 2018 and is believed to have been blown far out of his natural habitat during a severe storm. He is thought to have come from New Zealand, Tonga or a small Pacific island.
Whatever his provenance was, he found a true home in Niue. At one point, Trevor had become such an unlikely tourist drawcard that Air New Zealand had to put on extra flights to keep up with demand. The number of regular flights to Niue’s capital, Alofi (population: 1,000) doubled, from one to two.
He had even made friends with a ragtag band of animals that lived near his puddle. “He will definitely be missed,” Findlay said.”He captured many hearts and even the rooster, the chicken and the weka (a flightless New Zealand bird) were looking a little forlorn today wandering around the near-dry puddle.”
He was internationally crowned the “world’s loneliest duck,” but that clearly wasn’t true. There haven’t been many ducks as loved as Trevor. https://t.co/Bmjw9xMbHC
— The New York Times (@nytimes) January 29, 2019
Few ducks are commemorated by international parliaments, but Trevor was
Trevor’s life on Niue came to wider attention when a visiting journalist from New Zealand asked for directions and was instructed to “turn right at the duck”. She soon realised Trevor’s presence was so unusual and well-known that he had effectively been incorporated into street directions.
Felicity Bollen, CEO of Niue Tourism, previously told the ABC that Trevor had been the ideal avatar for the little-known nation. “We pride ourselves on being a funny, quirky little island and he fits with the quirkiness, so he’s a perfect fit from a marketing perspective for our country,” she said.
His passing was even noted by his namesake, Trevor Mallard, Speaker of New Zealand’s House of Representatives. “Deepest sympathy to the people of Niue from the Parliament of New Zealand,” Mallard wrote on the duck’s Facebook death notice.
Header image credit: Facebook – Trevor the Duck