ARTS & CULTURE
07/21/2014 10:57 am ET

The Giant Rubber Duck Has Disappeared In China, All 54 Feet Of It

ChinaFotoPress via Getty Images

Bad news, Giant Rubber Duck fans. The 54-foot inflated masterpiece that resembles your favorite childhood bath toy has disappeared. It was last seen floating down the Nanming River in China last week, but alas, its massive yellow body is missing. All 2,000 pounds of it.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the duck fell victim to the serious flooding that's swept southwest China this summer. The torrential rains have tragically led to at least 32 weather-related incidents already, and has inflicted $50 million worth of economic losses in Fenghuang county.

While the duck is an inanimate object, and its disappearance is far less harrowing than the human deaths and structural damage throughout the region, the fact that a one-ton sculpture could simply vanish in Guiyang city speaks to the levels of destruction this storm has caused.

“The duck flopped over and was flushed away really quickly by the torrential flood. It disappeared right in front of me in several seconds,” explained Yan Jianxin, a coordinator charged with overseeing the duck, to China Real Time.

“The duck itself weighed around one ton, together with its over 10-ton floating metal platform, and several steel wires fixing it to the bottom of the river," Yan added.

giant rubber duck

A "duck-hunt" of epic proportions aims to relocate the avian objet d'art, with one local radio station encouraging listeners to call in with tips, The Weather Channel reports. “If you live along the river and see an 18-meter tall big yellow duck, please call 5961027.”

This is the first time the duck, designed by Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman, has disappeared. It has, however, run into similar problems throughout its much-publicized global tours. For example, while in Hong Kong, the blow-up bird deflated into a fried egg-esque puddle. In Taiwan, it saw a similar fate.

WSJ claims that a "back-up duck" is on its way from Taiwan, so hopefully the country can focus on repairing the toppled buildings and providing shelter for those affected.

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