Strangest Jobs in the Travel Industry
DuckmasterPeabody Hotel, Memphis
Five mallard ducks have been an integral part of the Peabody’s daily activity for 78 years, ever since two tipsy hunters dumped their live decoys into the downtown Memphis hotel fountain in 1933. These days, the fivesome makes two ceremonial marches every morning and evening, from their rooftop “palace,” down the elevator, and into the lobby fountain, while John Philip Sousa’s “King Cotton March” plays in the background. Duckmaster Jason Sensat helps with their care, feeding, and transit. The fourth Duckmaster (the first was a circus animal trainer who volunteered for the job), Sensat wears a red jacket with gold trim and carries a brass-duck-headed cane; he also acts as a greeter and tour guide for the hotel.
How to Spot Them: The ducks and their dude march at 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. daily. The Peabody also offers a family package starting at $340 a night, including room, duck-themed treats, and the chance for kids to help escort the ducks on marches, as well as take home their own canes. —Katrina Brown Hunt