On Monday, two donkeys were rescued by the Greek fire department from a deserted beach in Karpathos island. They were found within a Natura 2000 protected area.
The men of the fire department, who were also joined by personnel from the port authorities, managed to rescue the two stranded donkeys by getting them both onto a boat.
A video of the rescue efforts was later shown by the national Greek broadcaster ERT News. Fire department personnel could be seen fitting floatation devices to the two donkeys before they were placed onboard a boat and whisked away to safety.
Donkeys brought to safety in a lengthy rescue operation
It reportedly took more than two hours to ensure that the animals were successfully brought to safety. The Fire Department of the island, together with the Diafani port station, officials from the management body of North Karpathos, and volunteers collaborated to ensure that the rescue mission was a success.
The two donkeys found themselves in a tricky situation after their owners left them to graze freely ahead of the summer working season. At some point, the two animals wandered down to an isolated and steep beach and were unable to clamber back up.
The donkeys were spotted by a group of fishermen passing by who alerted the fire department which subsequently initiated the rescue efforts.
Donkeys in Greece
The recent rescue in Karpathos is not the first time donkeys have made headlines in Greece. Earlier this year, an abandoned baby donkey in the town of Koropi, east of Athens, has become an internet sensation in Greece.
The foal was found wandering alone in a field earlier in January. Animal rights campaigners raised the issue on social media and a home was found at a donkey protection center.
The center uploaded a video of the foal running around at the premises and meeting other donkeys. The center said it was fed milk from a bottle and gradually regained its strength.
Donkeys are still used in Greece as a means of transportation, especially in villages or some of the more out-of-reach places.
For the most part, however, modern technology has ended the country’s dependence on these creatures. However, riding a donkey is still regarded as a traditional way to get around, especially in some parts of Greece.
International campaigns have been launched to protect the donkeys and mules of the picturesque Greek island of Santorini. The animals have been used since time immemorial to shuttle people from the volcanic island’s port to its main settlement 400 meters above sea level.