In early October, we reported on Central Park's new visitor, a glorious Mandarin duck. The duck is rare to these parts, and given its strikingly colorful, punk rock style, it became a sensation almost immediately. New Yorkers have literally been lining up to get a look at the thing, which has moved around the Park several times.
Earlier this week, you may have seen some really thirsty headlines out there declaring the duck had "gone missing" after it hadn't been seen in its usual spot for, like, a few hours, tops. This generated some panic amongst its fans, but obviously the duck was just out doing duck stuff, right? We dispatched a reporter at the time—here is his unaired segment:
This morning, we tracked down the duck, named Mandarin Patinkin, to ask about his recent disappearance, and what's in store for the future.
Mandarin Patinkin, so nice to meet you in person. In recent days there have been some pretty sensational headlines declaring that you had "gone missing," have you seen these stories?
I have, and while I would like to maintain some boundaries with the press and keep my private life private, I will say that I am obviously not missing. I am right here, in front of you. I'm the duck.
I understand, but would you like to tell us a little bit about where you went? People are interested!
Listen, sometimes ducks move around. We have the gift of flight. Sometimes I like to go to the body of water with the boats. There's a cafe there that has some nice focaccia bread, and people throw it at me like I'm some goddamn prince. I'm just a duck! Anyway, my doctor says I shouldn't eat bread, but you only live once, and Mandarin ducks only live for like 7 years, max. I don't even know how old I am. [He looks down at his reflection] I think about this a lot...
And you know, not that it's anyone's business, but sometimes I like to visit my friend Marge over in the 59th Street Pond. I like to maintain an active social life. And Marge is one of the nicer ducks I know. Some ducks are mean, like Woody, man what an asshole. A real piece of work that one. I hope he's at least 6 years old, if you catch my drift.
How long have you been here in NYC?
I had been living a nice peaceful life here for... I don't know for how long, I'm a duck, but it only lasted until you guys wrote about me in October. Now it's like I always have to be "on" all the time. It's a lot of pressure. Again, I'm just a duck. I cannot overstate this.
What is your leg band for?
I don't want to talk about that part of my life.
At this point, Patinkin's publicist brought our conversation to an abrupt end, and he disappeared under the surface of the water.
— Manhattan Bird Alert (@BirdCentralPark) November 8, 2018