Skip to main content

Murder most fowl? Giant rubber duck bursts in Taiwan

By CNN staff
January 1, 2014 -- Updated 0653 GMT (1453 HKT)
The famed yellow bird arrived in Taiwan in September. It was docked at Kaohsiung City until October 20, before floating to Taoyuan, then Keelung in northern Taiwan. Eleven days after arriving in Keelung City Harbor, the duck burst. The famed yellow bird arrived in Taiwan in September. It was docked at Kaohsiung City until October 20, before floating to Taoyuan, then Keelung in northern Taiwan. Eleven days after arriving in Keelung City Harbor, the duck burst.
HIDE CAPTION
Happier times
Rubber duck cometh
No bathtub in the world is big enough
24/7 cute fix
Adorable even at half-mast
New Year's Eve tragedy
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
>
>>
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Giant rubber duck deflates 11 days after arriving in Taiwan's Keelung City Harbor
  • Locals speculate weather or birds to blame for demise of art installation by Dutch artist
  • Officials promise a new rubber duck will be installed as soon as possible

(CNN) -- A giant yellow duck on display at Taiwan's Keelung Port is finding little to be happy about this New Year's Day.

The famed 18-meter inflatable art installation, created by Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman, burst and deflated on Tuesday, leaving locals shocked and disappointed.

The duck's demise came only 11 days after it arrived in Keelung City Harbor, the latest in a multi-city Taiwan tour for the celebrity bird.

There are multiple theories as to what led to the New Year's Eve tragedy.

Murder most fowl? According to Taiwan media reports, one tourist claims she saw what looked like an eagle scratch the rubber duck with its talons.

If that's indeed the case, jealousy could very well have been the motivation behind this unprovoked attack.

Meanwhile, a meteorologist speculates an unseasonal dose of sunshine may have overheated the duck, disrupting its internal pressure after weeks of cold, rainy conditions, leading to its rupture.

"We want to apologize to the fans of the yellow rubber duck," said Keelung City Council Speaker Huang Ching-ta while addressing media.

"We haven't found the cause of the burst. We will carefully examine the duck to determine the cause."

(Photos of the damaged duck can be viewed on Chinese micro-blogging site Weibo.)

Fortunately for fans, the city says it plans to borrow another copy of the floating art installation, due to be installed by Saturday at the earliest.

More: Giant duck conquers Taiwan

A turbulent past

Versions of the famous duck have previously taken up temporary residence in cities all over the world, including Beijing, Osaka, Sydney, Sao Paolo and Amsterdam.

After stirring up a craze in Hong Kong in May and June, followed by a two-month stint in Beijing, the 18-meter inflatable duck arrived in Taiwan in September.

It was docked at Kaohsiung City until October 20, before floating to Taoyuan then its recent spot in Keelung in northern Taiwan.

Tuesday's deflation is the latest in a string of unfortunate duck-related incidents.

In May of 2013, Hong Kong's version of the giant duck mysteriously lost its mojo one night, leaving its deflated yellow shell bobbing lifelessly in Victoria Harbour.

In late October, the Taoyuan version deflated then exploded during an attempt to re-inflate it.

In 2009 during a port call in Belgium, it was stabbed 42 times by a vandal.

"We don't know why the person did it," artist Hofman said in an earlier interview with CNN.

"But [the incident] brought the people of that town together. The community had a stake out at night and protected it and even the police looked after it. It shows that this piece of art means a lot to people in the vicinity of this work."

More: How the big rubber duck was born

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
December 16, 2014 -- Updated 1056 GMT (1856 HKT)
Nonprofit Ethical Traveler has released its annual list of the developing countries doing the most to promote human rights and preserve their environments.
December 11, 2014 -- Updated 1036 GMT (1836 HKT)
These waterfront watering holes have killer ocean views, creative drinks and the mahalo vibe we demand.
December 10, 2014 -- Updated 2038 GMT (0438 HKT)
Can't wait to book your ticket to Indianapolis and Oakland? The venerable guidebook is right there with you
December 10, 2014 -- Updated 0625 GMT (1425 HKT)
By helicopter, snowmobile and big-wheel truck across some of the world's most volatile landscapes.
December 9, 2014 -- Updated 2142 GMT (0542 HKT)
Construction begins on a new Singapore airport complex that could make delays and layovers a pleasure.
December 9, 2014 -- Updated 1441 GMT (2241 HKT)
Inflight chatterboxes are annoying but they're not the worst violators of onboard etiquette, according to an Expedia study.
December 8, 2014 -- Updated 2232 GMT (0632 HKT)
These statues are awe-inspiring even for the strongest of non-believers.
December 5, 2014 -- Updated 1659 GMT (0059 HKT)
The Palace of the Parliament, built by former Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu.
25 years after the death of Romania's communist dictator, tourism is helping heal old wounds.
December 5, 2014 -- Updated 1152 GMT (1952 HKT)
Photo sharing website names the top 10 destinations for geo-tagged snapshots.
December 3, 2014 -- Updated 1005 GMT (1805 HKT)
New York may be a paradise of Zagat-rated, Michelin-starred restaurants, but some of its best food can be found on the streets.
December 2, 2014 -- Updated 0601 GMT (1401 HKT)
Guide Lebo behind the wheel of Chobe Game Lodge's first electric game viewing vehicle, at Chobe National Park in Botswana.
Chobe Game Lodge in Botswana ups the eco stakes with what it claims is world's first battery-powered safari fleet.
November 24, 2014 -- Updated 0118 GMT (0918 HKT)
The interior of the Formosa Boulevard Mass Rapid Transit Station in Kaohsiung, in southern Taiwan.
These quirky and beautiful subway stops make standing cheek-to-cheek with 45 strangers almost seem fun.
November 21, 2014 -- Updated 1314 GMT (2114 HKT)
A scene from a desert safari in Dubai
Luxury vintage Land Rover tours explore Bedouin backwaters without bashing up precious dunes.
ADVERTISEMENT