Santorini Launches Campaign To Stop Tourists Riding Donkeys Up Massive Hills
Every year, millions of people flock to the Greek islands to get that #amazing #Instagram #shot of them standing next to a white and blue building with the sprawling Mediterranean Sea in the background.
The island with one of the highest number of tourists is undoubtedly Santorini, credited with having one of the most magical sunsets in the world.
But sadly there's a part of the volcanic island that isn't as magical.
In order to get to the port at Thera, you have to go down hundreds of stairs. Naturally, it's a hell of a lot easier to get down than up so locals provide donkeys and mules to help those who might not be able to make the upward journey.
But the island's mayor, Nikos Zorzos, says they're organising a campaign to encourage people not to use the animals.
He's told the Guardian: "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."
The Greek government announced last year that they were banning people weighing more than 100kg from riding the donkeys and mules.
The bulletin reads: "The owners of working equidae should ensure that the animals' level of health is high. There should also be disinfection materials in their living quarters and workstations.
"Under no circumstances should be used animals unfit for work i.e., ill animal, injured, animals in an advanced pregnancy as well as animals with poor maintenance of hooves.
Campaigners have spoken out about the treatment of the animals in the past, who work long hours, seven days a week often without proper shelter or a chance to rest. As a result of poorly fitting saddles and having to carry heavy loads, many donkeys ended up with spinal injuries and cuts.
Featured Image Credit: PA