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Celebrity Duck On Tybee

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TYBEE ISLAND, GA -

People say you can meet some interesting characters on Tybee Island and even a few celebrities…but the latest personality to make a splash on the island is a little bit of both. His first name is actually "Vanilla" - but he's better known as "Aflac"...his middle name taken from a bird seen in national commercials...but *this* Aflac won't be overshadowed. Bowie Seafood Market owner Jamee Barnard says,"I think he's getting a little cocky."

Tybee's Aflac is the seven month old pet of 11 year old Angel Barnard - given as a gift this past Easter to the little girl who says, "I always loved ducks." He started gaining fame the very same day when the family brought him to their Tybee Island seafood store from their home in Midway. Jamee says, "We expected it to stay in the pen and that's about it and now she has just went with it - the leash was off the chain." Yes - that's right - the duck gets walked on a leash several times a day when he tires of splashing around his wading pool. Angel explains, "I was scared because I didn't want him to get in the road."

The spectacle outside Bowie Seafood has gained him quite a few fans says Jamee, "I had a lady come in one day like - um, I went by earlier and I could have swore I saw a duck on a leash and I was like yep - so we had to call the duck out…the customers started seeing it and seeing to the point where the customers are calling the store - is the duck out today? We want to come by - we're bringing the family by to see the duck." With several newspaper stories written about him and some people stopping by the seafood store just to visit the duck - Aflac has become quite the local celebrity - but they're not too worried about it going to his head. When asked if he knows he's become a celebrity – Angel says, "Do you think he knows he's become a celebrity? Nods. How can you tell? I'm like Aflac - you're gonna be on TV - he's like quack, quack, quack." Jamee adds, "He is probably in hundreds of pictures already - they're all over facebook - tourists from Michigan and Kentucky come to see the duck."

They'll let you pet him, possibly even hold him...but warning - this duck's not shy! Angel says, "I can't help it - the duck wants what he wants."

"He is an icon for the store - no doubt," says Jamee. When asked if he's helping business, she answers, "Um - ha, ha, ha - I would say so - we getting 'em in the door anyway - with the duck."

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