Only on St. John: The Story of Coconut the Duck

coconut the duckThere are some thing I swear only happen on St. John. This is one of those stories…

I was sitting down at the park near the ferry dock Saturday morning when I met a man named Fuego. He was heading over to St. Thomas for the day when we started chatting. Fuego lives in Coral Bay with his wife and son, and is known for having a pet duck. Apparently Fuego raised this duck and used to carry it around on his shoulder. But sadly the duck disappeared a bit ago.

Not even 24 hours later, I walked down to Cruz Bay Landing for my morning coffee. As I walked up, I saw Christy Beatty (who owns the restaurant with her husband Todd) squatting down next to an adorable white duck. The duck was docile, Christy said, and he even allowed her to pet him. She gave the duck some bread and water, and sought out a new home for him.

We wanted to help, so we posted about the duck on our Facebook page. And would you know that the duck turned out to be Fuego’s lost duck! It also turned out they he was really a she, and her name is Coconut.

Here’s what happened, according to Fuego:

“Yup that’s our girl,” Fuego wrote on our Facebook page Sunday. “She went missing from Coral Bay more than a month ago. Some of you know the story of this little muscovie, but I will share the short tale since she has got so much attention today. We found Coconut adrift about a mile out to sea of of Spanish Town, Virgin Gorda. She looked like a tennis ball fighting against the wind and current. I scooped her out of the sea and put her in the cockpit of our boat. She sailed all over the Virgins with us. She lived on deck by day and at night nested below the desk at our nav. station where she would lay the most delicious eggs. She earned her keep in companionship and fresh eggs for three years. However our plans to travel sadly cannot include a duck. So we put her in the care of a very nice home with ducks and chickens and a giant tortoise. Being an only pet for so long, she had a hard time adjusting to being a farm duck and flew off about a month and a half ago. She did stick around the farm for almost 6 months but she didnt have a mate to keep her put. She seems to have made it as far as Cinnamon Bay. She then was placed with some other ducks near Gallows Point but she didn’t stick around there either and wandered into town today. I think she has been a out looking for me, so tomorrow we get reunited with Coco and i will try to find a nice place to make an escape proof coop for her.”

And that’s exactly what happened Monday thanks to Laurel, a National park ranger who brought Coconut back to her family in Coral Bay.

coconut the duck 2

coconut the duck 3

Now if that doesn’t make you smile today, I’m not sure what will. 🙂


6 thoughts on “Only on St. John: The Story of Coconut the Duck”

  1. NPS Ranger Laurel Brannick deserves a HUGEthank you for going the extra mile to help Coconut. When reports of a Muscovy duck came to her, she went out to the Cinnamon Bay campground & got the duck. Laurel took the duck to pond with other ducks, but the duck didn’t like it there & wandered in to town & Cruz Bay Landing. Laurel was alerted that that’s where the duck had gone & so, early on her day off, she went to CB Landing & brought Coconut back to her house to spend the night. She even bought Coconut some duck food! The next day she & Coconut drove out to Coral Bay & Coconut, quacking & waggling it’s tail with joy, was reunited with Fuego. Way to go, Laurel!!!

  2. My daughter and I saw Coco on Saturday at Frank Bay. I posted her picture on Facebook but received no response. So glad for this happy update!

  3. Theres an important chunk missing to this story. This article was brought to my attention by numerous people on stj who know this duck as Pato who lives at the water sports shop at cinnamon bay. Ive had her for a little less than a month now. I found her on the roof of Morgans mango looking miserable. She had a hurt leg, couldn’t walk and was weak. I picked her up and comforted her. I made a bed for her in a box and gave her some food and water. It was clear that she hadn’t eaten in days. She immediately fell asleep as i was petting her. I took her home with me and then to the shop at cinnamon. She loved it. I took care of her injured leg by having her swim. It was like therapy for it, and she quickly went from not walking to limping just fine. Everyday she got better. She would walk around the campground a bit but never strayed too far away from me. She felt free, NOT caged. Almost every morning she was in the same spot at the shop waiting for her breakfast. I took her swimming and paddle boarding. She was happy. One of the things i miss most is the little cooing sounds she make when I’m close to her. Then, a few days ago the national park (Laural) came in and took Pato away. Why? ” because the campers are complaining” she said. which i find really interesting because the national park doesn’t rid cinnamon of the donkeys, iguana, deer, and all the other animals. Are you seriously going to try to tell me over all other things theres complaints about a duck? Ya right. She said Pato needs to be in a pond with other ducks. I trusted that it would be good for her so i said my goodbye, scooped her up and handed her over. As soon as i let go she became flustered and frightened. I cried for most of the day. It really hurt my heart for them to take my good duck friend. She left the family in coral bay because a duck doesn’t belong living on a deck. She left frank bay because she didn’t like that either. She should have stayed at cinnamon where she was healthy and happy. And now shes going to be put in an “escape-proof cage”? Are you serious?? Lets take the duck away from the beach to put her in a cage. Great idea. I understand the family in coral bay rescued her first as a duckling and love her. Shes a very sweet loving duck. But i strongly disagree and it pisses me off to know that shes now being caged.

    • Savannah-you are such a kind and gentle soul-I can so see this being played out and your hurt. I really appreciate hearing “the rest of the story”. Blessings to you and everyone at the shop at Cinnamon.

  4. So glad for Fuego and Coco! And next time you see Fuego, you need to ask him and Sandwich (his wife) to put on one of their famous fire shows! This is something not to be missed!

Leave a Comment