A lonesome duck appeared inside the N/R subway station at 23rd Street in New York City yesterday, looking terribly out of place. For riders, though, it was a spectacle, as you can see from this image from the "nyc" section of Reddit.
Image by solateor on Reddit
The mystery did not last long, as tweets from insurance company Aflac revealed the duck is its mascot. The company has been tweeting pictures of the bird in the city all day.
Authorities are not pleased. A Metropolitan Transit Authority representative told Gothamist:
Ducks don’t belong on the subway, especially waddling through stations, and especially not when they’re used as part of a publicity stunt that makes it harder for our customers to get around. We did not know about this stunt, we did not approve it, and we’ve made clear to Aflac that it was improper. New Yorkers know that animals are only allowed in the subway when they’re enclosed in containers that will prevent them from annoying any other passengers.
According to Laura Kane, a spokesperson for Aflac, the duck had a handler with him and was not actually put on a subway train. Kane told the Village Voice, "We'd never put him in situation where he wasn't controlled." Regardless, Gothamist reports that PETA is contacting Aflac about why taking a duck into a busy New York City subway station is a really bad idea. We’d have to wait to see if these criticisms discourage any more installments of "animals on the subway."