NEW YORK - Park rangers were reportedly at work Tuesday trying to rescue a rare duck in Central Park that has a plastic ring around its lower bill.
Photos of the female Common Merganser with its auburn crest have circulated online since earlier this month.
A plastic ring or rubber band appears to be lodged into its beak preventing it from feeding.
"It showed behavior indicative of it not being well, of it being starved," David Barrett, a Manhattan birder who has been monitoring the duck, told the NY Times.
Rangers reportedly searched Central Park Lake Tuesday morning but did not find the duck.
"The Urban Park Rangers have been unable to locate the bird, but they are continuing to monitor the area," NYC Parks press officer Megan Moriarty told Gothamist. Their goal "is to rescue the bird, remove the plastic, and transport the animal to the Wild Bird Fund so they can assess its overall health."
In 2018, a rare Mandarin duck made headlines after it was spotted in Central Park. How the duck first got to Central Park is a mystery. The species Aix galericulata can be found in the wild in China, Japan, Korea, and Russia.