Stop the animal cruelty to Santorini Donkeys
James B. Denmark
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If you are an animal lover, think twice before heading to the Mediterranean paradise of Santorini. Despite being voted "World’s Best Island" by the BBC, Santorini in Greece has one appalling thorn in its side: the cruel donkey rides. A hangover from less enlightened times, tourists are pushed to ride donkeys up a steep 250m cliff path by greedy owners. These donkeys pant in the 40 degree heat with no shade, display fly-covered, open sores from their rope bindings and can't take half the weight of often overweight riders who choose to take the cable car. When they stop being profitable, donkeys are put in roasting open fields on a short rope, forced to eat dry grass around their own excrement, with no shelter from the scorching heat and often with their water buckets blown out of reach by the island's famous winds. Stopping the misery would surely benefit not only the donkeys but would raise awareness of the importance of animal rights as a topic in Greece in general.
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