In October, a Mandarin duck was spotted at the Pond near 59th Street in Central Park, and when we first reported on the unusual creature—the East Asian duck is an incredibly rare sight not only in New York City, but in North America—the Parks Department told us they would attempt to find and rescue the non-native animal. Over the past few weeks, however—as it has become apparent the duck is quite comfortable in its new digs—plans have changed. The duck will be left alone, and that's just about all any New Yorker can ask for, really.

Urban Park Ranger John McCoy told Gothamist on Wednesday that the current plan is to leave it be. "The animal, from what we've seen and heard, is healthy. It's able to fly, it's able to feed, and it seems to be social with the other water fowl in the park," he said. "So, there's no risk of anything bad or negative happening, and the animal itself isn't hurt, from what we can see. So right now we're going to leave [it] alone."

As for how it got here, the Rangers believe someone abandoned the duck in the park. "A lot of people dump animals in the park, which is unfortunate... For example, red-eared sliders, they're not a native species of turtle, but they're a common house pet, and people will just put them in the park when they don't want them anymore. And that's a bad thing. So we're guessing the same thing happened with this bird."

While it's not legal to harbor ducks in NYC, it's still possible someone took one in as a pet illegally, or it could have come here from a neighboring state. While it has a band on its leg, no one has claimed it, and the WCS told us previously that it does not belong to any of their zoos in the area.

Let's take a break for a moment to look at how gorgeous this creature is:

And we're back.

If the animal becomes injured, the Rangers will go back to their rescue plan, McCoy says. "We don't go around removing all the [red-eared] sliders from the park. However, if we find one that's injured or wounded we're gonna find a home for it, we're gonna bring it to one of our partners, [and] find a place where it can live the rest of its life." A similar route would be taken if the duck ever appears to be hurt.

For now, you can help keep the duck healthy by not feeding it bread and pretzels.

The duck has become a little celebrity after it was first spotted, and since returning to the Pond in Central Park this past week (after a brief journey to the 79th Street Boat Basin), people have been gathering around to see it, and some of those people are trying to win it over by throwing bread at it. McCoy told us, "I heard someone was trying to coax it over with pretzels. Bread, for a duck, is like us eating Doritos all the time. If you eat Doritos all the time, you're not going to be healthy. It's doing more longterm harm; it's not a healthy thing and we discourage that. People feeding it bread is not good."