The global obesity problem has hit the donkeys of Santorini hard. The beautiful Greek island which is visited by many cruise ships, is full of hills and mountains, and one of the most attractive tourist activities is a donkey ride through the steep hills.
However, given the ever expanding waistline of the visitors, the donkey owners claim that they’ve had to deal with increased medical costs for their animals and therefore aim for a ‘weight limit.’
Charity The Donkey Sanctuary has launched the “In Their Hooves” campaign as a way of improving public awareness of the animals’ health. It says the strain of carrying overweight tourists is injuring the donkeys’ spines.
In October last year already, the Greek government banned tourists weighing more than 220 pounds from riding the animals, but “In Their Hooves” is an attempt to make all visitors think twice about riding working animals.
Visitors are asked to consider whether the animals have adequate water and shelter, if the owner treats them respectfully or if they have any signs of injury, and whether they are expected to carry an acceptable weight.