He hasn’t risen: New Long Boi on York’s campus is unlikely to be the original, says expert

There’s a new Long Boi on campus

A new Long Boi has been spotted on York’s campus, and since news broke people have been going crazy.

Pictures and videos have been shared online showing a long-necked duck waddling around near Derwent lake, and people across campus and nationwide are sharing their thoughts and theories as to where this new duck has come from, and his possible relation to the late famous Long Boi.

BBC Radio one DJ, and Long Boi mega fan, Greg James shared his excitement about the possibility on his Breakfast show this morning. Wearing his Long Boi hoodie, he said: “Long Boi the duck is a huge part of not only the show, but my life.

“People are playing with my emotions as well saying that this might be the return of of Long Boi because we never found a body of the duck, so he might be back. Either way this is good, but we do need it independently verified”.

Though there’s been speculation that maybe we have witnessed the return of the original campus celebrity, Long Boi himself, a wildlife expert has spoken to The York Tab about how this is unlikely to be the case (sorry guys). Tommy from Floofmania told us that he doesn’t think this is the OG Long Boi and shared some of his duck expert wisdom on why.

Left image via @longboiyork

The original Long Boi seems ‘longer’ than the new one

After the excitement online that maybe, just maybe, Long Boi himself has returned to York’s campus, we’ve all been quick to speculate. “Longboi lives!” is what one person commented on The York Tab’s Instagram post last night, whilst others took to X (formally twitter) to share their excitement of his possible return: “It’s like Easter in October. Long Boi is back”.

But when asked if this new Long Boi could be the same duck, wildlife expert Tommy said: “That’s hard to say.

But when asked if this new Long Boi could be the same duck, wildlife expert Tommy said: “That’s hard to say.

Some students theorised that Long Boi might have “just came back from his summer holidays”, with some suggesting that “he was in Ibiza for the summer”.

In response to this, Tommy said that it’s “unlikely” that Long Boi the first may have migrated and returned since reports of his disappearance. He said that “not all ducks migrate and when they do they can have varying migratory patterns, but it would be unusual for a duck to leave in April and come back to York in October.”

He said: “It’s much more likely that a duck would spend the summer in England and then go to a region with a milder climate in winter. It is possible that Long Boi has simply migrated locally during the period, however. Perhaps there are better local food sources in the region in the April to October period, but then I’d assume that he’s had a pattern of doing this every year, which we haven’t seen.”

Although, with hope for OG Long Boi, Tommy said: “It is possible that Long Boi has simply migrated locally during the period, however.”

‘It’s not Long Boi, it’s a new duck’

On BBC Radio one’s breakfast show this morning, Greg James spoke to a breeder of Indian Runner Duck’s (Long Boi’s breed), who shared a similar opinion. The breeder, and member of the British Waterfowl Association council, Tom, said with confidence that the new duck is not Long Boi.

He said that when you look at the pictures of both ducks, you can tell “by the shape of the skull and body angle” that the original Long Boi was an Indian Runner Duck. The new duck however, appears “more horizontal than vertical”, and is “no where near” as long as Long Boi was.

Tom said he believes the new duck is one of dual heritage, a mix between an Indian Runner and a Khaki Campbell.

Could the new duck be related to Long Boi?

But it’s not all bad news. One of the other main theories about the duck is that it is Long Boi’s child, with some calling him “BabyBoi” or “Long Boi II” in honour of his ancestry.

Tommy told The York Tab that he “wouldn’t assume that Long Boi would be sterile.” He said: “Although Mallards and Indian Runner Ducks are different looking, they’re both ducks, and they have (to the best of my knowledge) the same number of chromosomes which would normally mean that they would be fertile.

“That being said, it’s not a given that Long Boi’s son would look like his father because the genes making for the tall stance would be less represented. It would explain why the new Long Boi appears a little shorter, though, so I suppose it’s plausible!”.

Where else could Long Boi Jr have come from?

When Long Boi first appeared on York’s campus in 2019, he was quickly singled out due his different appearance, considering how different he was from the other ducks and geese by the lake. An Indian Runner Duck crossed with a Mallard believed to stand at 70cm tall, he was described as a “duck out of place” that “shouldn’t be here”.

So how might have Long Boi Jr, or Long Boi the second, have gotten to York’s campus? Tommy told The York Tab that “while there are plenty of Mallards all over the UK, Indian Runner Ducks are normally endemic to Indonesia.” He said: “I don’t think Long Boi’s mother or father has gone that far to reproduce, so we probably have to look for a local parent.”

He said that while “Indian Runner Ducks don’t really live in the wild in the UK, there are poultry farms and backyard poultry owners who breed them.”

“I’m guessing that a Mallard made a visit to one of those farms a while back, and that one of the ducklings got out.”

Sadly, we’re unlikely to be witnessing the return of the original Long Boi himself, but the theory that this new duck could be his descendent is still a possibility. After calls from students, Long Boi’s legacy is already set to be cemented through a life-size statue on campus, but maybe we’re seeing the start of a line of little Long Boi’s to carry his legacy on.

He definitely needs a new name.

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