Orlando Peabody ducks have their final march

Orlando Peabody ducks have their final march

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They are the most famous ducks in Orlando after Donald.  Up until now, they spent their days frolicking in a fountain in the Peabody Hotel lobby.

They spent their nights in a penthouse palace on the hotel roof.  Their daily march to and from the fountain has delighted visitors almost twenty thousand times.

Donald Tompkins has been the duck master here for the last three years.  He says, "We see people from all over the world, even who don't understand the English language.  They know the ducks and they smile.  It brings a great deal of joy to a lot of people." 

That joy turned to nostalgia and sadness Monday afternoon.  Three hundred people gathered to watch the five ducks make their final march from the lobby. 

Tiffany Zigo brought her son to say goodbye.  She says, "It's very emotional to watch it shut down and to stop this amazing legacy that they have in Orlando."

The tradition of the Peabody ducks walking into the hotel lobby started in 1933 in the Memphis hotel.  They've been doing it for twenty-seven years here at the Orlando hotel, and that tradition will continue in Memphis in the future.

Tompkins assures us these ducks will do just fine in the future.  He says "These are wild ducks. they're going to retire back to the wild, and they'll live in a wild environment for the remainder of their lives."

Many people took videos, photos and duck souvenirs away from Monday's historic march. 

Denise Parkhill of Orlando brought her two children, who were thrilled to see the ducks do their thing one last time.  Parkhill says, "So it is a sad day, but I'm glad we got to be a part of it."

Monday afternoon, Mayor Teresa Jacobs read a proclamation and made the five ducks honorary citizens of Orange County.

Hyatt takes over the Peabody Tuesday after paying 717 million dollars to buy the property.  It will be called the Hyatt Regency Orlando Convention Center.



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