Crazy jobs series part four: Being a Duckmaster — video

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We continue our week-long series on crazy jobs by taking a look at duckmaster Anthony Petrina.

Petrina is solely responsible for the care and well-being of The Peabody Ducks, including feeding and training the teams for their twice-daily marches.

When not tending to the five North American mallards, he acts as a public ambassador for the hotel, greeting guests in the Grand Lobby, conducting tours, doing media interviews, and making community outreach appearances.

Just 25-years-old, Anthony Petrina was recruited to the position of Duckmaster from within the hotel, having been an enthusiastic member of the Capriccio Grill team since 2010. A Memphis native, he studied hotel and resort management at the University of Memphis.

The time-honored tradition of the March of The Peabody Ducks began at the hotel in early 1930s. At 11 a.m. each morning, The Peabody Ducks march to John Philip Sousa’s “King Cotton March” along a red carpet from their rooftop Royal Duck Palace the famous travertine marble fountain in the Grand Lobby. They splash and preen in the lobby until 5 p.m., when the procession reverses and the ducks retire for the evening.

Petrina is only the fifth Duckmaster in the history of The Peabody Memphis. The title Duckmaster™ originated at The Peabody in 1940. Ducks had been a fixture in the lobby fountain nearly a decade when the hotel hired a former circus animal trainer named Edward Pembroke as a Bellman. Pembroke offered to help with delivering the ducks to the fountain each day and conceived the now-famous Peabody Duck March. Mr. Pembroke served as Peabody Duckmaster™ for 50 years until retiring in 1991.

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