Kyoto: Ducklings Safely Make Way to Kamo River from Kyoto Temple in City’s Yearly Duck Procession

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Guided by locals with folded cardboard boxes, ducklings waddle across a crosswalk in Sakyo Ward, Kyoto.

KYOTO — With the help of local residents and police officers, six ducklings waddled about 600 meters to move from a pond at a Kyoto temple where they were born to the Kamo River on May 19.

The duckling procession between the pond and the river has been an annual event in the city. Ducks began rearing their offspring at the pond on Yoboji Temple’s grounds about 20 years ago, and the young waterfowls’ march to the river has been a distinctive sight in the area.

The ducklings made the move without their parent this year after their mother disappeared, although she had been seen at the pond earlier in the day.

Despite the setback, the ducklings left the pond in the morning. Local residents guided the birds using folded cardboard boxes and by sprinkling food and water. Police officers also assisted them by controlling traffic. The ducklings took about three hours to reach the Kamo River.

“I want the ducklings to live boldly in the wild,” said a 79-year-old woman who takes care of ducks at Yoboji Temple.