Manitoba

Winnipeg's 'downtown duck' follows owner everywhere he goes

Nikki Cox's unusual urban pet can be spotted waddling along Winnipeg sidewalks, eating drive-in french fries and splashing in downtown fountains.

Feathered friend learns to survive downtown wilderness

'Downtown Duck' follows owner everywhere

CBC News: Winnipeg at 6:00

5 years ago
2:08
Nikki Cox's unusual urban pet can be spotted waddling along Winnipeg sidewalks, eating drive-in french fries and splashing in downtown fountains. 2:08

Nikki Cox's unusual urban pet can be spotted waddling along Winnipeg sidewalks, eating drive-in french fries and splashing in downtown fountains.

Huey, a Pekin duck, follows Cox wherever he goes.

Cox is teaching Huey how to navigate traffic and survive the Winnipeg wilderness.

Nikki Cox is followed by his fair-feathered friend, Huey the duck, everywhere he goes. (Kim Kaschor)

"He's a good hunter already. I'm teaching him to catch goldfish ... He loves the caterpillars and worms," said Cox. "I gotta teach him everything. So when we go out to the lake I'm going to have to teach him how to swim. We'll be snorkeling together."

The duo turn heads on Winnipeg streets, with many people stopping to snap photos.

Cox bought Huey and three other ducks — Dewey, Louie and Howard —  last month for $6.50 a piece from a farm in the western Manitoba town of Russell.

Two of the ducks — Louie and Howard — live on a friend's farm because the flock of four became too much for Cox in the downtown hotel where he resides. Dewey, who was in Winnipeg with Cox, passed away last week. Cox plans to move to the country.

Huey spends his days with Cox and even his nights, nestling into the crux of Cox's shoulder. 

"I'm his only mother so he follows me around normally pretty tight," said Cox.

The duck will grow to about a half-metre tall and shed its yellow feathers for white. 

Though Pekin ducks are typically bred for food, Cox says he has no such plans. 

"Everyone jokes around that when are we going to eat Mr. Huey?" said Cox. "But we're not going to."

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