Internet star and lover of bread and peas, Long Boi, has been presumed dead after going missing for two months. The tall duck, who had made the University of York campus his home, has not been seen in the area for a while, which has led officials to presume the worst.
Students took 2ft 4in mallard to their hearts when he arrived at the University of York campus in 2019. The waterbird went viral in 2021 after social media users crowned him the “tallest mallard to have ever lived”.
Fans set up an Instagram account for their feathered icon, which amassed over 60,000 followers with its pictures and accompanying quirky captions. Long Boi, a mallard and Indian runner duck cross, even boasted some well known fans such as radio presenter Greg James and talk show host James Corden.
But concern about his welfare grew when sightings of him dried up around mid-March this year. And on Thursday (May 11) officials at the University of York told their students the only conclusion for his absence was that he’s died.
A spokesperson for the University said: “Following a period of almost two months without a confirmed sighting of Long Boi, we are today forced to conclude that he has passed away. We appreciate this is not the resolution that many people were wishing for, but hope that acknowledging his passing allows us to focus on celebrating his life and commemorating the time he spent with us.”
The tall mallard’s social media team also said they presumed Long Boi had died and paid tribute to him. They wrote: “The last known sighting of Long Boi was sometime around mid-March – this is the longest that he has been absent since first appearing on campus in early 2019.
“Long Boi’s age is unknown and he has never gone missing like this before. Very sadly, this disappearance suggests a strong possibility that Long Boi may have passed away.
“It is unclear how or exactly when this may have happened, and we can only hope that if Long Boi really is gone, his passing was peaceful.”
Fans of Long Boi, who once quacked live on Greg James’s Radio 1 show, called for funeral arrangements to be made in honour of the bird.
One social media user wrote: “Rest In Pond old buddy, I’m officially calling for a campus-wide funeral at this point.”
Another user said: “Long Boi of York, king of all ducks and longest of bois, in the fourth year of his reign, has died. Nations across the world mourn his passing amid uncertainty over whether humanity will ever again bear witness to a boi as great and long as him.”
A third mourner said: “I feel like he needs his own statue on the campus. Happy to contribute to make this happen . Fly hi longboi.”