200 Years. 200 Stories. Story 110: “If She Were a Person, She Could Vote! ”

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Duckie roaming the Live Animal Center
Duckie, shown here in the Academy’s Live Animal Center, might be the world’s oldest duck.

If She Were a Person, She Could Vote!

Duckie, a long-time resident of the Academy’s Live Animal Center, might soon acquire the official record for being the world’s oldest duck! Duckie arrived at the Academy in June 1990 by accident, a lone mallard duckling in a shipment of chicks intended for feeding to the Live Animal Center’s snakes and birds of prey. But an Academy staffer took a liking to Duckie and decided she might do better as one of the Academy’s many educational ambassadors. It has been 21-and-a-half years since then, and Duckie has not only far surpassed the mallard duck’s average life expectancy, which is 10 to 15 years in captivity and only five to 10 years in the wild; she also has outlived several of the mallard ducks that the Academy has adopted since her arrival. Imagine that! The oldest mallard duck currently on record is Desi, who was 20 years, three-and-a-half months at the time of her death in August 2002. Duckie’s time at the Academy alone has already surpassed Desi’s life by a year and three months. It remains to be seen whether she will find herself inscribed in Academy, and world history as the world’s oldest duck!

Stay tuned to 200 Stories for an update on Duckie’s contention for world-record fame! In the meantime, stop by the Academy’s Live Animal Center to pay a visit to our newest resident ducks, Lily and Daffodil. If you’re lucky, you may even get to hear some of Duckie’s more interesting tales from the trainers and scientists who take care of her and her friends!

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