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This adventurous Minnesota duck is now a viral internet sensation

Sharyn Jackson, Star Tribune (Minneapolis) on

Published in Cats & Dogs News

Move over 'gray duck.'

A fluffy white bird from St. Paul is currently the most famous duck in Minnesota, thanks to some fast feet, fowl puns and a viral video.

Recently, Derek Johnson posted 17 seconds of his pet, Ben Afquack, drumming with his webbed feet on a snare. The video got a million views overnight on Facebook. It's now up to 3 million, with tens of thousands of comments and shares, and more on other platforms. Ben Afquack's Instagram, @minnesotaduck, has grown to 41,000 followers. On a visit to the Winter Carnival recently, Johnson and his pet were mobbed by fans trying to take photos for their own social media accounts.

The instant fame is all a little overwhelming for Johnson, 29, and his 10-month-old companion, whom he takes with him on "adventures" all over the Twin Cities.

"It blew up," Johnson said of the drumming video. "People are making it into rap beats. A Detroit radio station was doing freestyle over the top of the beat. People are making remixes. It turned into this weird snowball thing. I don't have time to keep up with all the messages."

That's just since the video took off, but Ben Afquack already had a devoted following before this latest hit.


The popular Instagram account chronicles the duck's adventures with Johnson and his wife. There are photos of the duck at the State Fair, near a waterfall, and on the back of Johnson's motorbike.

"We brought him to the zoo. We brought him to the Mall of America. We even brought him to the gym once. The whole goal was to get him used to being around people and doing things with us," Johnson said. "We wanted to socialize him and have him be more of a pet than a goldfish or a farm duck."

It would seem they got more than they bargained for.

When a friend posted a photo of the duck last spring with the caption, "Felt cute. might delete idk," Ben Afquack began his journey to become a full-blown social media star.


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