McIntosh, a Muscovy Drake duck, doesn’t know he’s a duck.
Having been raised for two and half years in Gainesville, Fla., by owners Julie Zill, 25, and Felipe Carvalho, 31, since he was a tiny duckling, McIntosh behaves more like a pet dog than anything else.
“It goes way beyond having a duck in your backyard,” Zill told ABCNews.com. “He definitely has a personality. He’s very responsive and interactive. He knows his name. He’ll come when you call him. He wags his tail when he’s happy. He loves car rides. He likes to follow people around.”
For Zill and Carvalho, McIntosh is a member of the family. However, now, they have to say goodbye, and are actively looking for a suitable candidate to adopt their beloved pet duck.
The couple is moving to Hawaii to pursue grad school and a PhD, and they’re unsure of their living circumstances once they get there. Therefore, they’ve taken to Youtube, creating a video plea that has now gone viral, showcasing McIntosh’s lovable personality and highlighting all the traits a potential adopter would need in order to adequately take care of him.
“Since he acts more like a dog would, it only seems fair to treat him as such, with that higher level of attention,” Zill explained. “We want someone that will spend a lot of time with him and give him a lot of attention and stability. Also, we really want to emphasize safety because he’s very vulnerable to predators. We want a safe backyard for him. We need people who are animal lovers, very caring, who treat him as a dog, rather than a duck.”
Their adorable Youtube video, titled “Adopt McIntosh The Muscovy Drake (Coolest duck in the world),” has more than 311,000 views since it was posted on April 12.
“I had all these videos of him on my cellphone that had been gathering up, and we knew finding a very specific home with very high standards for McIntosh would be difficult,” said Zill. “So we really had to sell him. That’s why I put the video together. We just wanted to do everything within our power to give him as good a chance to find a suitable home as possible for his specific needs.”
Zill, who attends the University of Florida, is hoping to keep McIntosh within the Gainesville community where he is most comfortable and where she and Carvalho can easily still come home to visit him. Zill also notes two ducks are allowed per house in most Gainesville neighborhoods, so friends for him are welcome.
“We wanted to do what was best for him,” Zill said. “We’re worried we won’t be able to provide the housing, the stability, the time and attention he deserves. We’re very sad, but I think it’s for his best interest.”
The couple says several suitable candidates have contacted them about adopting McIntosh. However, they “want to meet as many people as possible that are interested, to keep our options open in case something falls through.”
If you’d like to learn more about adopting McIntosh by this Sunday when the couple leaves for Hawaii, visit their Youtube page with more information, or you can email Zill directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.