Fat tourists are killing the donkeys that carry them around the Greek island of Santorini with their body weigh, forcing locals to cross-breed them with mules to make them sturdier
Tourists being carried by Donkeys on the picturesque Greek island of Santorini are being crippled by carrying heavy holidaymakers – as locals resort to cross-breeding the beasts with mules so they can carry heavier tourists.
Between the peak summer months of May to October, up to five cruise ships a day bringing swarms of 1,200 tourists visit the small island to marvel at its idyllic white houses.
Santorini is known for its hilly terrain and donkeys have traditionally been used to transport people over the famously stepped areas which vehicles cannot access, such as in capital Fira.
But animal rights activists claim with obesity on the rise, the animals are being forced to carry ever-heavier loads while they work long hours, seven days a week without shelter, rest and water – leaving them with spinal injuries and open wounds from ill-fitting saddles.
And charities say the explosion of overweight tourists even means locals who are keen to get the most out of their animals have been forced to cross-breed donkeys with mules, which are bigger and taller, have greater stamina and can carry heavier loads.
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A spokesman for Help the Santorini Donkeys charity said: ‘It’s recommended that animals should carry no more than 20 per cent of their own body weight.
source : dailymail