Greece Island Bans "Overweight" Tourists From Donkey Rides

The Santorini Donkeys in Greece were famously portrayed in the movie Mamma Mia. These animals carry tourists up and down the steps of Athens, Greece. This is a popular tourist attraction that is famous around the world. Riding the donkeys is a regular holiday activity for visitors to the island nation, and these animals are a traditional mode of transportation in this historic area.

Animal rights activists have recently discovered that the donkeys are suffering physical degradation from being ridden by tourists. There are over five million tourists visiting the region each year, so the donkeys stay very busy giving rides around the historic sites. Traveling shows and movies that feature the donkeys are part of the reason for the popularity of the rides.

Activists have also observed that the local taxi companies are exploiting the animals. Some of the common trips around the town can easily be made on foot, but many people are encouraged to take donkey rides instead.

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Apparently, the abuse to the animals is also caused by overweight tourists who place too much strain on the donkeys. The donkeys are suffering for long hours in the sun without sufficient water and food. The complaints point at overweight tourists from America, the U.K., and Russia who place too much weight on the spines of the donkeys.

Viral videos of obese people riding the donkeys gave rise to protests on the streets, and a petition for legal action was signed by over 100,000 people across the globe. The Greek government gave in to the pressure and enacted some new legislation on behalf of the animals.

The Ministry of Rural Development and Food has made some new requirements for the donkeys. One of them was a ban on overweight tourists riding the donkeys, which was defined as either 220 pounds or more than 20% of the donkey's body weight. These guidelines follow recommendations by animal rights activists.

Do you think overweight tourists are the main cause of suffering for the donkeys? Let us know in the comments, and be sure to pass this article along to your friends and family.