Falling in love with the Greek island of Santorini is not hard to fathom. With it’s rugged cliffs and pebbled beaches, it’s no wonder that Santorini is one of the most popular tourist destinations.
Most tourists choose a traditional means of transport to view the prolific historic sites and that’s where the humble donkey comes in to take them up the volcanic isle’s many steep steps.
Seen as authentic an experience, they fail to consider the damage caused to the health of these poor animals.
The demand for these donkeys has risen exponentially in the last few years with a number close to 17,000 tourists voyaging daily to the island via cruise ships.
Definite over tourism has placed tremendous pressure on these donkeys, causing spinal injuries, saddle sores and ultimately, exhaustion.
“The campaign is about to start,
Representatives from the cruise liner association were here in my office this week promising to raise awareness [of the problem] and from our side we’ll be distributing information leaflets.
Our mules and donkeys are part of our tradition. Younger owners, especially, have understood that they need to be looked after.”
This campaign has furthermore launched The Donkey Sanctuary.
According to The Guardian, PR officer at The Donkey Sanctuary stated:
“Our In Their Hooves campaign aims to encourage tourists to stop and think before using donkey taxis to climb the steep steps at Fira port,
It suggests holidaymakers consider whether donkeys and mules are being treated humanely, have enough shade and water, as well as whether loads they are being asked to carry are suitable. If not, other options, such as walking or taking a cable car, might be a more responsible mode of transport.”
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