Mandarin duck stuns onlookers in New York's Central Park

That's one hell of a Halloween costume.

An out-of-place Mandarin duck was spotted in New York City's Central Park this month, leaving experts stunned about where the bird might have come from.

The strikingly colorful creature, whose flocks are mostly found in East Asia with small populations also existing in California and North Carolina, was first seen on Oct. 10 near the Pond in the historic park.

Footage of the Mandarin was posted on Twitter, which led many to question the duck's origin and also fear for its safety.

Photos of the duck: 

10 PHOTOS
Central Park's Mandarin duck
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Central Park's Mandarin duck
A Mandarin Duck and a Wood Duck playing nice in Central Park NYC at the 59th Street Pond today on Monday 10/29/18… https://t.co/KjFNWJcF4A
@BirdCentralPark Just taken! https://t.co/5K14rgq97p
The Beautiful Mandarin Duck at 59 Th Street in Central Park NYC can fly!! Photo taken on Monday October 29 2018. I… https://t.co/NyVeOdgYvj
Mandarin, cooperative, still showing love at 59th St. pond. #birdcp https://t.co/fdBQhzuMWv
Madrian Duck still at the pond at 59 Th street today Monday 10/29/2018. #birdcp
MANDARIN DUCK continues this Wednesday at the Central Park Pond via Gus Keri https://t.co/777zLeskcL
Tuesday was looking like a normal work day until I went to Central Park to chase a beautiful duck around a pond. https://t.co/0CKLESL9da
Spotted the Mandarin duck in Central Park this morning. #CentralPark #nyc https://t.co/S1nZiL8SFY
Who’s the fairest of them all?#birdcp https://t.co/YD4nTwOcJS
A very cooperative mandarin duck at the pond on 59th street. https://t.co/aa0ma5okzF
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Although the celebrity bird was briefly feared to have been killed by predators, it turned up again on Thursday and on Sunday in two separate locations in the park — once by the boat basin and once in the Pond, the New York Times reports.

So, the question remains — how did New York's famous new avian resident end up in the big city?

According to Craig Piper, the director of city zoos at the Wildlife Conservation Society, the duck did not come from any of New York’s four major zoos.

David Barrett, the creator and manager of Manhattan Bird Alert, posited that the Mandarin could have fled captivity somewhere nearby, such as New Jersey, or even been released into the wild by an exotic pet owner.

But regardless of why the duck came to the big city — perhaps to pursue writing or acting, as so many are keen to do — NYC officials say they have no intention of trying to capture the creature unless it gets injured.

"As long as it has open water, it will do just fine," Barrett told the New York Times. "He might live very happily on the Central Park Pond."

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