Daniel, the Emotional Support Duck, Breaks the Internet

There’s a lot of things that you see in an airport. Kinda like when you go to Walmart. But nobody was expecting this.

The passengers on this flight from Charlotte, North Carolina, to Asheville, were shocked when they saw a duck wander onto the plane. Especially when they noticed that the duck had on a Captain America diaper and red sandals.


This duck, known as Daniel, with the full name of Daniel Turducken Stinkerbutt, is 4.5 years old, and is a certified Emotional Support Animal. Daniel is a an Indian Runner duck (whose species cannot fly) and was adopted by his person, Carla Fitzgerald, when he was only 2 days old.

Less than a year later, Carla was struck while she was working as a horse and carriage driver in Milwaukee by a car. The accident was extremely serious – the driver had been texting and driving – the carriage was busted, the horse was injured, and Carla was injured so severely that she had to be retrained how to walk. It took 4 months of rehabilitation for her to walk again.

In the months following the accident, Carla started having panic attacks that are thought to be PTSD, and since then, she and her doctor noticed something strange about Daniel.


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He can tell when Carla is about to have a panic attack. He consistently recognizes when she’s about to panic, and does his best to comfort her, usually quacking slowly and quietly. He will even come and lay on her to comfort her when she is in extreme pain or panicking. Sometimes, he’ll even start to “climb her” to remind her to calm down and lay down when she is having a full flooded panic attack.

Daniel apparently is a very intelligent duck, as well. He can tell Carla when he needs a new diaper, is hungry, or even if one of his toys isn’t working correctly. He will walk to his changing table, walk to his food bowl or the refrigerator when hungry, and even throw a tantrum if one of his toys runs out of battery power!

Carla reports that he doesn’t know he’s a duck. He’s just “a people with feathers.”

How cute!

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