UNSUSPECTING passengers on a flight from Belfast to London recently could be forgiven for thinking ‘is it a bird, is it a plane – no it’s a duck’ as the Culture Duck from the Everglades Hotel enjoyed a flight across the Irish Sea after a group of pranksters waddled off with it.
The duck was spotted by the eagle eyed Deputy Mayor of Craigavon in Belfast City Airport boarding an Aer Lingus flight to Gatwick and thanks to his eagle eyed vision, there was no need to call in the old bill as the light-feathered duck-nappers who stole the 3-foot Culture Duck have been caught.
Neil Devlin, General Manager of the Everglades Hotel said: “We were spitting feathers when we realised our Culture Duck had been taken, so you can imagine our delight when we found out that Cllr McCusker had spotted it boarding a flight last week.
“Thankfully, the culprits who we have agreed not to name, were wearing branded shirts which Cllr McCusker was able to recall when he read the story that the duck had been stolen, thus helping us identify his whereabouts. We’d like to thank Cllr McCusker for helping reunite us with our Culture Duck and bringing it home to roost,” Neil added.
Cllr Colin McCusker said: “I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw this duck boarding the plane. It really stood out as an unusual and oversized piece of hand luggage. As soon as I read the article I knew it was the duck that had been on my flight. I am over the moon that I have been able to reunite the Culture Duck with the Everglades Hotel.”
The Culture Duck, who normally lives on the piano in the foyer of the 4-star hotel, had enjoyed a flight to London and once Aer Lingus were made aware the duck had been taken without permission they offered to fly it home for free.
Andrea Hunter, Business Development Manager at Aer Lingus, said: “Aer Lingus is delighted to be able to fly the abducted Everglades Culture Duck from Gatwick back to Belfast City Airport.”