A captive duck graced the G train Monday evening, though unlike previous subway ducks, this one was neither lost nor on the clock. Rather, this was a leashed duck, who did not seem particularly jazzed about his commute to Broadway.
The above video was captured by Max Kirchoff, who told Gothamist that he was "startled" by the web-footed straphanger. "I heard this 'quack quack' from this lady's arms, then she let the duck down to walk around with the leash on it," he said. "It was so weird."
In the video, the duck can be seen bobbing its head around, seemingly in an attempt to free itself from the leash, and quacking loudly.
"Someone was asking her questions about it, and [the owner] said she had a pit bull and they really liked each other," Kirchoff added. "Basically the duck thinks that it's a dog now. She was very matter of fact about it."
As heart-melting as that all sounds, the subway is probably not the best place for a duck, even one who sincerely believes itself to be a dog.
"It's a obviously a dangerous, stressful and inappropriate place to bring a duck, not to mention a duck on a leash, which is an extremely inappropriate way to transport a duck," Stephanie Belle, PETA's senior director of cruelty casework, told Gothamist. "Subways get very crowded, and the duck is in physical danger, either of choking or being stomped on. We would argue that this is causing suffering, which the law prohibits."
It is also illegal to own a pet duck in New York City. We've reached out to the MTA to see if there are any situations in which it might be appropriate to bring a duck on a leash into a subway, and will update if we hear back.
Kirchoff says riders' reactions to the pet duck were more or less the same as their reaction to anything else, including more exotic subway-riding poultry birds.
"A couple people tried to take photos," Kirchoff said, "but most people didn't give a shit."