KOKOMO, Ind. — If it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, and walks like a duck, it might actually be...a Cougar.
Indiana University Kokomo Alumni Association is training an entry for the annual Samaritan Caregivers Duck Derby, "Quackston," allegedly the younger half brother of campus mascot Kingston Cougar.
At first glance, Quackston appears to be a small cougar, but if you look closer, you'll see his orange bill and yellow feathers hidden under his fur.
Kingston has taken a personal interest in his feathered friend, supervising his swimming training in the creek behind the Kelley House, and working with the staff at the Cougar Country Café on his nutritional needs. Kelly Goad, director of development, provided his dashing IU Kokomo uniform.
Ryan Bowman, director of alumni affairs and campus ceremonies, and a former college swimmer, is planning Quackston's strategy for the race.
"My plan is, he'll drop his IU Kokomo Alumni Association flag in front of the other papa ducks, blocking the Lazy River so he can have a leisurely swim to victory," Bowman said. "He's going to bring it."
The Duck Derby takes place from 5 to 10 p.m. Thursday, July 19, at the Kokomo Beach Family Aquatic Center. The event raises money for the Samaritan Caregivers work, providing free, non-medical help to Howard County residents 65 and older, to allow them to remain in their homes.
Bowman said the IU Kokomo team is proud to sponsor an entry in the race.
"We enjoy building relationships with the organizations that serve our community," he said. "This is a way we can be involved and help our neighbors."
Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.