I was shaking with anger as I walked down the path next to these sad donkeys working in 35 degree heat today in Santorini. Cruelty in the 21st centrury rife, and I am furious at the ignorant people writing here, saying 'bad but give it a go once'. You are as bad as the donkey owners, and shame on you donkey abusers.
Today I witnessed, bleeding girth sores. Girth galls. Muzzled animals. No water, no food, no shade. I saw an old donkey, whose whole body was dripping sweat, was shaking, was hyperventilating, and there was nothing I could do for him. He will be dead by this evening.... I know this because I own competition horses and I know the rigours that they go through.
I got shouted at by the donkey men because I pointed out the bleeding, the tightness of rope girths, plastic rope girths, wire muzzles cutting into their faces. I saw whipping which I yelled at the man to stop, he ignored me, if i could have got a whip I would have beat the donkey owner myself.
I saw donkeys with two riders on one donkey. Split hooves, damaged tendons, even one donkey whose neck muscles were torn, they were floped to one side and it still had to work. At this point I was desperately upset, and I was holding back the tears, I was physically shaking and so my protest was to speak out to each rider as they passed me and ask they why they thought that riding an animal in 35 degree heat up a mountain with open wounds was acceptable..... one response from a woman was this..... "the donkeys wouldn't be here if this was cruel" ... her donkey had open wounds which she had ignored when she got on it. I am TOTALLY DISGUSTED.
I will be getting onto Donkey Sancturary, the British Horse Society, Greek tourist board etc.
I am now spending the rest of my holiday here, every day going down and questioning the western tourists who deem this acceptable as to why the are supporting this cruelty. I am also going to take their photos and post them to facebook, name and shame.
Please help me stop this madness. Photograph, publish them and shame these riders and get this barbaric practice stopped.
FYI the donkey owners receive a cut of the money earned from the cable car so they won't be out of pocket. And yes you may have to queue half hour longer for a cable car to get to the top, but you can go buy a drink, you can sit in the shade, these donkeys don't have a choice and don't have a life. Everyone I went to comfort shied away from human contact and that quiet simply broke my heart from these normally friendly curious creatures, these donkeys are dead inside already and they are just waiting for their physical end.
I am not against the use of animals. I am against the ABUSE of animals. If you come witness this nightmare, then tell the riders off please, wake them up to this abuse.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.