Meet the internet-famous duck that dined at the Mall of America

Meet the internet-famous duck that dined at the Mall of America

Wrinkle has run in the New York City Marathon. She’s waddled on the Las Vegas Strip. She’s even been to Dairy Queen.

Now, the two-year-old duck — with 7 million followers on Instagram, YouTube and TikTok — has finally been to the Mall of America.

In late July, she and her owner went to the mall and took a quack at mini golf, explored Nickelodeon Universe, toured the Sea Life Aquarium and ate at Hooters.

The first of two videos documenting the experience is aptly called “I took my duck to Hooters,” and was posted on Wrinkle’s YouTube page, called “Seducktive” on Aug. 4. In the weeks since, it has earned almost 2 million views.

So, who is Wrinkle?

Wrinkle is a Pekin duck. Her owner is a circus juggler formerly known as Justin Wood, who prefers to go by Human Name. He raised Wrinkle for stardom since she was an egg, claiming that lacking a duck mother, he warmed the egg himself by sitting on it for almost a month.

Name said he got Wrinkle in 2020, when COVID-19 limitations ceased live performance opportunities. That’s also when he left the circus, in part because of the poor animal treatment he’d seen. His goal was to train animals independently with love and respect.

“Once live performance stopped, it kind of felt like a bit of a forced retirement,” he said. “I could get into spending some time with some animals and see what I can do, and see what happens — at the very least, if nothing came from it, I’d have a little companion.”

Name has documented each stage of Wrinkle’s life, and now he’s taking her on a multi-city road trip. After stops in San Francisco, New Orleans, Arizona and more, the New York-based duck visited Minnesota for the first time this summer.

Not every restaurant, store or landmark is duck-friendly. That’s why Name often just shows up with Wrinkle rather than calling ahead. Many people seem wary of Wrinkle, until they see how well-trained and “magical” she is in person, he added.

“She’s just not a normal duck,” he said. “She’s like a tiny little person who just happens to be in a duck body — like a princess that had an evil, jealous witch that turned her into a duck.”

At the Mall of America, Wrinkle was warmly received. At Hooters, she ordered a specially made salad of chopped lettuce and thinly diced tomatoes. The waitstaff and other mall visitors stopped for photographs and Wrinkle obliged, even though some fans called her a goose.

Wrinkle was just passing through, but Minnesota has its own social media duck influencer, Ben Afquack, a St. Paul-based duck percussionist.

Afquack was granted the Guinness World Record for “Most Instagram Followers for a Duck” in May 2020, four months before Wrinkle was hatched. Human is hoping the two birds can meet someday.

“It’d be nice to make some duck friends,” Human said, adding that he’s reached out to Ben Afquack’s account, with no luck yet.

But he’s hoping he’ll eventually get a message quack — er, back.

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