Here is a 3-second video of Daniel the emotional support duck. His human says, 'and wagging? That's happy.' pic.twitter.com/WElW9d827o— Mark Essig (@mark_essig) October 17, 2016
On Sunday, some lucky airplane passengers encountered an out-of-the-ordinary traveling companion named “Daniel” recently while on their flight to Asheville, North Carolina from Charlotte.
While in the gate departure lounge at Charlotte Douglas International Airport, one woman shared an unusual sighting, The Dodo reported. There was a woman who was seated with a duck in a stroller.
Twitter user Kayl tweeted a picture of the duck as he sat in his stroller just before the plane’s departure. She wrote in all capital letters, “A WOMAN ON MY FLIGHT HAS A DUCK WITH HER AND ITS [sic] SITTING IN A STROLLER LIKE A BABY.”
Kayl also commented how the duck was “quacking a lot” and had a sign with it, which said, “My first flight!”
IT HAS A PIECE OF PAPER WITH IT THAT SAYS "My first flight!" AND ITS QUACKING A LOT pic.twitter.com/IdQhyMZXLW— kayl (@kaylshake) October 16, 2016
Another Twitter user, who ended up sitting next to the duck on the flight, offered a bit more explanation as to why someone would travel with such a feathery friend. Daniel is actually an emotional support animal, who accompanies his human to keep her spirits up.
Author Mark Essig tweeted several incidents throughout the flight, from the adorable moment when Daniel waddled onto the plane wearing a leash to him staring longingly out the window. If that’s not cute enough, Daniel also wore a red shoes and a Captain America diaper — which the owner told Essig is his favorite.
Here is Daniel The Emotional Support Duck in all his red-shoed glory. pic.twitter.com/rBkK0QnBKr— Mark Essig (@mark_essig) October 17, 2016
Daniel, the duck on my flight, likes to look at the clouds. pic.twitter.com/YiOjCvZ0NO— Mark Essig (@mark_essig) October 16, 2016
Essig reportedly told Buzzfeed News, “He was wearing little red booties. I assume to protect the delicate webbing of his feet, though I didn’t ask why.”
According to Essig’s tweets, the emotional support duck is a Indonesian breed known as an “Indian Runner” who was purchased by his owner at a yard sale.
The four-year-old duck is reportedly a certified emotional support animal, which means that his owner registered him to the National Service Animal Registry. Any "domesticated" animal, including dogs, cats, or even pigs, can be an emotional support animal like Daniel, given that the owner requires a little extra assistance.
Banner/thumbnail credit: Reuters