Writer Kahlil Gibran once said: “If you love somebody, let them go, for if they return they were always yours. And if they don’t, they never were.”
Looks like the Mandarin duck, native to East Asia, that mysteriously appeared in a Central Park pond on Oct. 10, is an official New Yorker.
According to CBS New York, the rare duck — a beautiful, bright-feathered male that New Yorkers are literally lining up to see — strangely made N.Y.C.’s Central Park its home for the past few weeks, and then disappeared over the weekend. When the bird wasn’t seen for several days, the animal’s growing fanbase started to panic.
Where is our MANDARIN DUCK? He was not reported yesterday, and we checked the likely spots late day. If you see him, let us know! He likely still is in Central Park, but he has been known to fly to the Hudson River 79th-Street Boat Basin ???? @WinoBradNYpic.twitter.com/O04nJPT5pJ
Many started to worry that Central Park’s celebrity guest had been stolen or, worse yet, eaten, reports The Washington Post. The New York City Parks Department even issued a statement about the duck, who is fully capable of flying, informing fretting birders that the animal probably left the chilly waters of N.Y.C. to find a toastier climate.
Turns out the city’s new mascot was just taking a long weekend. David Barrett, who has been keeping track of the duck’s whereabouts on his Twitter account @BirdCentralPark, announced (with photo proof) on Thursday that duck had returned to one of his usual Central Park haunts that morning.
“I am delighted to learn that our Mandarin duck has returned,” the viral birder told New York Post. “He has brought a lot of joy to New Yorkers in his brief time here, and it’s great to have him back!”
Barrett also added that this mini vacation for the bird shows that the animal enjoys exploring and searching for new habitats, which means that this darling duck could pull a disappearing act again.