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Trevor, The Loneliest Duck

On an island far far away, there once lived a duck named Trevor. Nobody knew where he came from, because until his arrival there was no duck on the island. He had appeared mysteriously on this remote rocky island after one violent storm.

Located in the South Pacific, about 2,400 kilometers northeast of New Zealand, this island called Niue is a country of its own, the entirety of which is confined inside a single 260-square-kilometer coral atoll. But Niue is far from cramped. It has a population of only 1,600 and the island itself is extremely green with imposing limestone cliffs and caves, sheltered rocky coves, secret beaches, and coral reefs. Many tourists, especially from New Zealand and Australia, come here for its famous diving sites and crystal clear water.

Trevor, The Loneliest Duck

Trevor, however, was brought to Niue against his will by nature, probably blown away from Tonga—the nearest island situated some 600 km to the west, or even all the way from New Zealand. How harrowing his journey might have been is anybody’s guess.

Trevor arrived on Niue in January 2018. Once Trevor landed, he quickly realized he had a problem. The island did not have any wetlands, or lakes, or rivers, not even a pond. Hydrologically, Niue was as barren as a “rock”—the name by which it was commonly referred to. So a muddy roadside puddle became his new home, and Trevor became a part of the community. Because he was a mallard duck, he was named after Trevor Mallard, the speaker of the New Zealand House of Representatives.

Trevor became as much a celebrity as a landmark. When New Zealand Herald journalist, Claire Trevett, went to Niue for a holiday, someone giving her directions told her to “turn right after the duck.” On returning back to New Zealand, Trevett wrote a piece about Trevor on September 2018, giving him his first international publicity. Shortly, after Trevor got his own Facebook page. A sign was erected near his puddle that read “Niue Duck Sanctuary,” and under Trevor’s name in smaller text was a description: “The lonely only duck in Niue.”

Trevor, The Loneliest Duck

Trevor was looked after well by the locals, who fed him peas, corn and rice and give him lots of attention in general. When water in the puddle got low, the people topped it up, sometimes even bringing the state’s firefighting truck to fill the pool. Trevor regularly flew around the island to visit locals on their lawns and enjoyed the tasty treats they offered. He also struck friendship with a rooster, a chicken and a weka—a flightless bird native to New Zealand and Niue—who all lived near the puddle.

Some people got concerned that Trevor might get lonely, and suggested that he be flown to a place where there are lots of ducks. Others wanted to bring another duck to the island to keep him company. But without any natural source of water, Trevor’s home was big enough only for one.

Trevor, The Loneliest Duck

Trevor’s seemingly happy life was cut short on January 26, 2019. His lifeless body was found lying in the bush after he was attacked by dogs.

News of Trevor’s death was met with an outpouring of grief on social media.

“Deepest sympathy to the people of Niue from the Parliament of New Zealand,” wrote Trevor’s namesake, Trevor Mallard, on Facebook.

“He captured many hearts and even the rooster, the chicken and the weka were looking a little forlorn today wandering around the near-dry puddle," told Rae Findlay, chief executive of the Niue Chamber of Commerce.

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