Long Boi the duck is certainly long, but it may not be the longest boi.
On Thursday, a photo of a duck that lives near York University in England – and nicknamed Long Boi by adoring students – went viral after a Tweeter claimed he was “the largest mallard to ever live (since records began).”
The claim, which appears to come from Reddit, is unfortunately not true, what Snopes was quick to point out.
Long Boi isn’t a full-fledged mallard, according to the duck’s Instagram account; it is actually a cross between a mallard and an Indian runner, which is a larger species of bird. The Twitter caption also claims that Long Boi is over “1m tall (3.5ft)”. But York University students who run Long Boi’s Instagram account (who said they wanted to remain anonymous because “long boi is really the star of the show”) told HuffPost via Instagram that they had measured the poultry.
He is only 70 centimeters (about 28 inches), according to the students. And sure enough, mallards are usually 24 inches in length, but Long Boi is half Indian Runner – and they grow to around 32 inches tall..
Snopes also found that there was no database to track the height of mallards.
Yet despite all of this, people still had a lot of fun with Long Boi’s viral photo – and the fake news.
Long Boi has had a real history of being an outsider, uh, an outsider too. Students who manage his fan account told HuffPost that Long Boi had just appeared on campus a few years ago and that they “believe he was abandoned here as an unwanted pet.”
“When we first saw him he didn’t really fit the other ducks and was avoided by them a bit,” they said.
The students said they started feeding him because he was hanging out near their dormitories. And it seems that education has helped.
“Now he’s really blossomed and integrated with others,” they told HuffPost. “He’s quite friendly and loves being fed by visitors … in fact, our on-campus store even stocks birdseed specifically for all waterfowl.
Thanks to the bird’s stature and more outgoing personality, Long Boi has become a sensation on campus. And in 2018, the duck has its own Instagram account.
“We thought it would be fun to share her photos on Instagram for others to see,” the students said. Now other Long Boi fans are adding their photos to the duck’s account.
“He’s super well liked here on campus,” they said.
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