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Trevor – the World’s Loneliest Duck

Niue —(Map)

The island of Niue is a 3.5 hour flight from New Zealand. For ducks, that’s too far to fly. So how in the world did Trevor the duck get there?

Niue is a small coral island in the South Pacific Ocean, about 1,500 miles (2,400 kilometers) from New Zealand. The island is not large. Only about 1600 people live there. The island has its own government, but it is part of New Zealand.

Public Seal of Niue
Niue has its own government, but it is part of New Zealand.
(Source: Ichwan Palongengi, via Wikimedia Commons.)

Niue recently got an unexpected arrival. A mallard duck. It is not clear how the duck got to Niue. Most people think it is too far for the duck to have flown. The nearest island to Niue is 271 miles (437 kilometers) away, and you wouldn’t expect to find a duck there, either. Mallards can fly fast and far, but it’s very unlikely that Trevor flew all the way from New Zealand.

Some people think the duck may have been blown to Niue by a storm or strong winds. Other people think it’s possible that he traveled part of the way on a boat.

Male mallard in flight.
Mallards can fly fast and far, but it’s very unlikely that Trevor flew from New Zealand.
He may have been blown by a storm, or traveled part of the way by boat.
(Source: Alan D. Wilson, via Wikimedia Commons.)

Having a duck on Niue is very unusual. Because the island is surrounded by the ocean, the people who live there are more used to seeing things like whales and dolphins than they are to seeing land animals.

The people on the island like having the duck there. It is unusual and exciting for them. They have given the duck the name “Trevor”, naming it after a New Zealand politician, Trevor Mallard.

Trevor Mallard, Speaker of the New Zealand House of Representatives
The duck was named after Trevor Mallard, a New Zealand politician.
(Source: Governor-General of New Zealand, via Wikimedia Commons

Sadly, the island is not a good environment for a poor lonely duck. There is no lake or pond for Trevor to swim and feed in. Instead, there’s just a puddle by the side of the road near the airport. And the puddle keeps drying up.

But the local people are taking care of Trevor. The fire department and others come by and refill the puddle when it starts to go dry.

The people on the island enjoy visiting Trevor and taking pictures with the duck. Several people are also bringing food. At first they gave him bread, but now they have started bringing food that is much healthier for a duck.

View from highlands of Niue looking down toward the ocean.
Niue is a coral island with no ponds or lakes – not a great place for a duck.
People on Niue are more used to seeing whales and dolphins than land animals.
(Source: Msdstefan, from Wikimedia Commons.)

They are also trying to figure out what will happen to Trevor. It will be hard for Trevor to stay there forever, since the island is not “duck-friendly”.

Some people have suggested that Trevor should be taken to New Zealand. But that could be difficult, because New Zealand has strict rules about how animals can be brought into the country.

ABC News in Australia posted this picture of Trevor on Twitter.

Other people have thought about bringing another duck to the island to keep Trevor company. That might make life more pleasant for Trevor, but then the island would have two ducks “out of water”.

Until they solve the problem, people will keep feeding Trevor, and Trevor will have to be happy standing in a puddle by the side of the road.


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