Tall duck ‘Long Boi’ that became an internet star is presumed dead says University of York
Students took 2ft 4in-tall 'Long Boi' to their hearts when he arrived at the University of York campus in 2019 The waterbird went viral two years ago after social media users branded him the "tallest mallard to have ever lived".
And his fans then set up an Instagram account for the feathered friend, which amassed over 60,000 followers with its adorable pictures and quirky captions.
Long Boi, a mallard and Indian runner duck cross, even boasted celebrity fans like radio presenter Greg James and talk show host James Corden.
But locals grew concerned about his welfare when sightings of him dried up around mid-March this year.
And today (Thurs) University of York officials told their students the only conclusion for his absence was that he's passed away.
A spokesperson for the Uni 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."
Supporters of the tall mallard, who curated his highly popular Instagram account, 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 and inspired a line of merchandise, called for funeral arrangements to be made for him.
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 further mourner said: "I feel like he needs his own statue on the campus. Happy to contribute to make this happen.Fly hi longboi."