This Is What a Duck Wears to Fly on a Plane

Daniel the duck is making a splash on the web. Daniel, who serves as an emotional support animal, skyrocketed to internet stardom after author Mark Essig spotted him on a flight from Charlotte, North Carolina, to Asheville on Sunday, October 16 — then proceeded to post adorable photos to Twitter. 

For the hour-long journey, Daniel’s owner dressed him in little red booties and a duck-size Captain America diaper.

“Daniel, the duck on my flight, likes to look at the clouds,” tweeted Essig, alongside a picture of his feathered friend gazing out the window. During their flight, Essig learned that the 4-year-old Indian runner was purchased at a yard sale and that he isn’t able to fly.

Essig, who wrote Lesser Beasts, a book about the history of pigs, told BuzzFeed that Daniel’s owner “kissed him on the beak several times” and held his beak “gently” when he quacked during the flight.

Before boarding the plane, Daniel waited patiently at the gate in a stroller. “It has a piece of paper with it that says ‘my first flight!’” tweeted a fellow flier. “AND IT’S QUACKING A LOT.” 

According to the National Service Animal Registry, all domesticated animals may qualify as an emotional support animal; critters that have served this function have included rats, hedgehogs, and snakes! Per the NSAR, an emotional support animal “is a person’s pet that has been prescribed by a mental health professional” and is intended “minimize the negative symptoms of the person’s emotional/psychological disability.”

Essig’s tweets have been liked and retweeted thousands of times. 

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