Since May 2, Hong Kong residents have had a special guest.
A giant, 54-feet high inflatable duck that took pride of place in the city’s Victoria Harbor.
The duck — named “Rubber Duck” — is a project from Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman. Cities around the world have their own versions, with the Sydney version drawing a huge crowd for its arrival in January. There’s also a version in London.
The one in Hong Kong is scheduled to remain there until June 9, when it will head to a still-undisclosed U.S. city.
However, this week there was a problem. The duck began to look under the weather, and began laying on its side.
Before long, the duck became the subject of conspiracy theories. On Weibo, ‘Big yellow duck loses air and collapses” became the top trending topic as users began to wonder why it had deflated.
The Guardian reports that some web users said the bird must not have been used to China’s water quality, or that it could be sick with Avian Flu.
“Pity the duck,” wrote the popular Beijing Cream blog. “Pity us all.”
By Wednesday morning, the duck was completely deflated and flat.
The official Harbour City Twitter account later tweeted: “The Rubber Duck needs to freshen up. Stay tuned for its return.”
Eventually, according to CNN, the organisers later explained it was a planned deflation.
Sydney Festival officials told News Ltd their version of the duck was “in hibernation” – they still have it.
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