Post from April, 2013

The Peabody Ducks

Friday, 5. April 2013 3:32

Every February we head south to Orlando for the Global Pet Expo and our favorite hotel is home to the Peabody Ducks, which parade through the hotel daily, frolic in the pool, and then go back to their Italian marble home for the evening.

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We are fascinated by these mallard ducks, which are rotated out between three families who live wild on a farm for part of the year. We are told that it only takes one day to train the ducks to follow the duck wrangler in his bright red jacket.

The Legend of the Ducks

How did the tradition of the North American Mallard ducks in the lobby fountain of The Peabody Memphis begin? Back in the 1930s, Frank Schutt, general manager of The Peabody Memphis, and his life-long friend, Chip Barwick, returned from a weekend hunting trip to Arkansas. The men had had a little too much Tennessee sippin’ whiskey, and thought it would be funny to place some of their live duck decoys (it was legal then for hunters to use live decoys), into the black travertine fountain of the Peabody hotel. Three small English call ducks were selected, and the reaction was nothing short of enthusiastic. Thus began a Peabody tradition that was to become internationally famous. The original ducks have long since gone, but after 75 years, their progeny live on in the graceful, marble fountain in “The South’s Grand Hotel,” The Peabody Memphis, and also at The Peabody Little Rock and The Peabody Orlando. The Peabody Duck March takes place twice daily at 11am and 5pm.

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