Trevor the lonely duck gets tiny island of Niue in a flap

Arrival of lone bird has surprised and delighted Pacific atolls residents who bring food and spend time topping up its puddle

The remote Pacific atoll of Niue, a three and a half hour flight from Auckland, has a population of 1,600 humans and, as of early this year, one duck.

The arrival of the lone bird has surprised and delighted locals. He has been christened Trevor, after the the Speaker of the House of Representatives in New Zealand, Trevor Mallard.

The duck has since become something of a national celebrity tourists visit to take pictures, locals drop by with food and volunteers top up the puddle that Trevor lives in.

Everyones familiar with Trevor, said Kirk Yates, the New Zealand high commissioner in Niue. However, no one knows where the duck came from or how it got there.

Theres a lot of contention about that, no ones actually sure about it, said Felicity Bollen, chief executive officer of Niue Tourism. One popular theory is that he flew from New Zealand.

Map of Niue

No one could believe it could fly that far, she said. Theres other conjecture that it could have stowed away on a yacht, but I think its less likely. Its part of the mystery.

Given that Niue lacks the wetlands and ponds that are the birds typical habitat, Trevor has had to make do with a puddle alongside a track near the airport.

People are concerned because we havent had a lot of rain so his puddle is drying up, said Bollen. Theres a collective effort among the public at large to keep the duck in water. People are just going down with containers to fill up his puddle.

Even the fire service has been drafted in to make sure Trevors puddle does not run dry.

Trevor
Trevor in its puddle. Photograph: Kirk Yates

This is a small place right and a little celebrity duck is a novelty and people are quite concerned for its welfare, said Yates.

Yates says people have done their research about what sort of food to bring the duck. While originally people took baguettes, they are now bringing more nutritious peas, corn, oats and rice. Trevor also gets the occasional meal of bok choy, left for him by a former New Zealand high commissioner.

While he is the only duck on the island, he is not the only bird, and is sometimes bothered by wild roosters who are after his food.

The duck seems content in its current situation, but there are concerns that it might be lonely. The department for agriculture, forestry and fisheries is currently considering options such as relocation, bringing in a companion duck, as well as wooden decoys to keep him company. Concrete replica birds were used in the case of Nigel the lonely gannet, who lived alone on the uninhabited Mana Island off the north of New Zealand until his death in February.

Despite concerns over loneliness, there are many in Niue who dont want to see the duck removed from the island, and who insist he appears to be very happy.

If hes come to Niue to make it his home, whether thats temporary or permanent, we should just let him be, provide him with clean water, and if he wants to stay, that should be up to Trevor the duck, no one should interfere in that process, said Bollen.

Trevor Mallard said he was honoured to have the bird named after him and was being kept up to date about efforts to relocate Trevor to New Zealand.

It would however be ironic if the duck made it and the children in desperate need didnt, said Mallard, in a reference to children being held in detention on Nauru whom Australia has refused to permit to resettle in New Zealand.

Bollen said that part of the interest in Trevor has come about because of the lack of land animals and birds in Niue.

We have whales and dolphins, we have a lot of things in the water, but not land animals, she said. There are dogs, but we dont have anything else, we dont have sheep, we dont have horses, we dont have cows, so for a duck to be wandering around the island, thats why its so interesting.

Original Article : HERE ; The Ultimate Survival Food: The Lost Ways

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