January 02, 2014 02:00 PM

On New Year’s in New York, the ball drops. On New Year’s in Taiwan, the duck pops.

Hours before it was supposed to be the centerpiece of a New Year’s Eve celebration, a 59-foot-tall rubber duck unexpectedly exploded Tuesday in the Taiwanese city of Keelung, the Straights Times reports.

No spectators were harmed in the explosion, which eyewitnesses have reported as the work of jealous eagles.

Officials, however, are not yet ready to pin the blame on the duck’s avian rivals.

“We haven’t found the cause of the problem,” organizer Huang Jing-Tai told the press after the impromptu deflation. “We will carefully examine the duck to determine the cause.”

The Keelung duck was one in a serious of gigantic inflatable anatids created by Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman in 2009. Two more Taiwanese cities exhibited their own version of the quacker in 2013 – and as the Telegraph reports, all ended in tragedy. In September, Kaohsiung’s duck was forced out of its harbor home in advance of Typhoon Usagi, while Taoyuan’s duck was deflated during a 6.3 magnitude earthquake in December.

Could it be a curse? We don’t want to point feathers, er, fingers, but in Taiwan, 2013 was the Year of the Snake.

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