Overweight tourists have been riding donkeys and using them as pack animals on harsh terrain
Donkeys on the Greek island of Santorini have been reported crippled for carrying overweight tourists around.
They are forced to drag tourists and their luggage up and down Santorini’s near-600 steep steps of the Karavolades Stairs in Fira, the state’s capital.
A spokesperson for Help the Santorini Donkeys – a charity organization – said: “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.”
It is recommended that animals carry no more than 20% of their total body weight. However, the donkeys are forced to carry more than 70kg excluding the luggage.
“If they are not transporting tourists up the steps, they are moving building materials or transporting heavy bags of rubbish,” said Christina Kaloudi, owner of the Santorini Animal Welfare Association.
These animals are nurtured in terrible conditions with no adequate food or shelter facilities.
However, after serious accusations were raised against such outrageous animal abuse, Santorini officials announced they would take necessary measures regarding carrying obese tourists and their luggage.