University of York organising ‘fitting tribute’ after death of famous tall duck Long Boi

The University says it wants to focus on “celebrating Long Boi’s life and commemorating the time he spent with us”.

The University of York says it is in the process of planning a “fitting tribute” after its most famous campus resident, Long Boi, is presumed to have died.

If you were unfamiliar with the social media sensation that was Long Boi, he’s not only well-known among the York student community, but he’s probably considered to be one of the most well-known ducks in the world.

When photos of Long Boi were shared social media in May 2021, they went viral shortly after, and the new star was then featured on TV and radio broadcasts all around the world.

Standing at a proud and impressive 70cm tall, the duck was originally spotted towering above all the others in the pond back in 2019, and was subsequently given the nickname he would be known by, ‘Long Boi’, as went on to become an attraction at the University of York.

Long Boi the duck.
Image: Long Boi (via Instagram)

He amassed more than 60,000 followers on Instagram, and even had his own line of merch.

But sadly, after sightings became slim, Long Boi was declared missing in mid-March 2023, and despite search parties looking long and hard for him over the last two months, the University of York was forced to issue an official statement yesterday that they “conclude he has passed away”.

In an official statement, a university spokesperson said: “Following a period of almost two months without a confirmed sighting of Long Boi, we are today forced to conclude that he has passed away.

Image: Long Boi (via Instagram)

“We appreciate this is not the resolution that many people were wishing for, but hope that acknowledging his passing allows us to focus on celebrating his life and commemorating the time he spent with us.”

The admin of the famous Long Boi Instagram said it had been “an absolute pleasure” to run the account over the last four years and to “see the joy” he brought to university students, staff, and visitors who loved to meet, feed, and photograph him on campus.

“The impact that Long Boi has had on our duck-loving community here in York has been incredible to witness,” a tribute on Long Boi’s Instagram reads.

“Walking across campus, you’ll always spot a group of students looking for Long Boi, his image adorns our student society logos, merch and advertising, and he has even become an unofficial mascot of the University itself.

“Whether going to feed Long Boi as a well-earned stress relief during exam season, or awaiting his lighthearted Instagram updates through times of uncertainty and lockdowns, Long Boi has always brought a smile to his fans and friends.

“Long Boi will always be remembered by those who knew and loved him.”

The spokesperson confirmed that the University is “working on plans to organise a fitting tribute to Long Boi”, but asked that people feed ducks or make a charitable donation in Long Boi’s, memory instead of leaving flowers on campus.

Details about Long Boi’s memorial will be “confirmed in due course”, the University concluded.

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Featured Image – Long Boi (via Instagram)

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