Overweight Tourists Are Crippling Donkeys On The Greek Island Of Santorini

Everyday over 1,200 tourists can be dropped off at the tiny island of Santorini just off the coast of Greece. That’s during the busy tourist season from May to October. One of the features of the island is that they have steep hills and paths along way. So the only way to get around is by donkey and that’s causing a big issue to these donkey’s health.

The majority of these 1,200 tourists are overweight cruise goers, and it’s giving the donkeys poor health. Locals are even trying to breed their donkeys with stronger mules to help with this fact. Perhaps though, another mode of transportation needs to be made…

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People are working for these donkey’s rights though and petitioning for a weight limit to be put on these rides. To make matters worse, these donkeys barely get any rest due to the seven-day-a-week tourist schedule. Activists also say that they don’t have enough food or water.

Someone from the “Help the Santorini Donkeys” charity had this to say in a statement:

“It’s recommended that animals should carry no more than 20 per cent of their own body weight.

The obese and overweight tourists, combined with the lack of shade and water as well as the sheer heat and 568 cobbled steps, is what is causing such a problem.

There should be a weight restriction. With donkeys it is should be no more than eight stone, but how would that be imposed and who would be there to make sure that happened?

Now they’re having to resort to using cross-bred mules, because the donkeys just aren’t strong enough.”

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After moving to Santorini, Christina Kaloudi began the Santorini Animal Welfare Association. Christina spoke to the Daily Mail, saying:

“The holiday season on islands is now a lot longer than it used to be, meaning that the donkeys are pretty much in work the whole year round.

If they are not transporting tourists up the steps they are moving building materials or transporting heavy bags of rubbish.

There are some good owners out there that follow the code but generally donkeys are worked into the ground and then disposed of when their working lives are over.

They are made to work in terrible conditions without adequate water, shelter or rest and then I find them tied outside my shelter, barely alive.”

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The problem is that there are guidelines for caring for the donkeys but they aren’t followed at all. These owners also are reprimanded for not following the rules so in essence there’s no point to them.

Christina concluded saying:

“Donkeys are very resilient animals and will keep going for as long as they can, so when they come to me in this state, I have the utmost respect for them.

We don’t want to stop the locals making a living or using donkeys on the steps but to look after them in a fair and humane way.”

If you want to make a difference and help save these donkeys, you can donate to them here.

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