Greece

Meeting Petros the Pelican – Mykonos, Greece

My mom and dad had always told us stories about their many trips to Mykonos and the famous pink pelican named Petros. We were excited to see this huge bird wandering through the winding streets of Mykonos town, but night after night there was no Petros to be found.  Finally, on our 5th and last night, Petros appeared, running from a frantic mob of tourists with cameras flashing and elbows shoving! He dashed into a restaurant kitchen where he hid for at least 30 minutes. So we tip-toed to the kitchen door and finally got to meet the famous PETROS the PELICAN! It’s not everyday you get to meet a celebrity that has his picture on hats, mugs, towels, vases, shirts, jewelry, flip flops, toys, rugs, scarves, … and of course, stuffed animals in every size!

Petros hiding in a restaurant kitchen

 

Yes, I have pasta sauce on my face – I ran from my dinner to see Petros! No time for a napkin

Here is the story of Petros from greeka.com

The Pelican of Mykonos, Cyclades: The Pelican called Petros (Peter) is an integral part of the island of Mykonos and rightfully it has become the mascot of the island. You can get a glimpse of the cute creature as it strolls leisurely in own unhurried pace through the city’s many alleyways. Although it is particularly fond of the harbor area along with Alevkantra. Everyone in Mykonos including visitors from abroad adores and admires the pelican. For the children, the pelican is their much preferred playing partner. Petros the Pelican has been officially declared as the mascot of Mykonos. He has made Mykonos his home since 1954. The original Petros passed away after spending a long thirty years in this enchanting island. Her loss was deeply mourned by the people of Mykonos that without wasting much time they introduced a substitute and the tradition was honored. The pelican is the cynosure of all eyes as far as the island of Mykonos is concerned and the saga of Petros lingers on. Mykonos many waterways provides the cute creature with the perfect setting to indulge in fun and frolic which is much appreciated by both the residents and visitors alike who never seem to have enough of the pelican. Legend has it that more than 40 years back a Mykonian fisherman stumbled upon a wounded pelican. He was so moved by the pelican’s discomfort that he decided to take care of the Pelican, provided the cute creature with medication and once he regained his strength decided to set him free. But surprisingly, the Pelican did not become airborne to his destined abode. Instead he made Mykonos his home. With every passing day, the cute creature became the cynosure of all eyes and became a celebrity. It came as no surprise that when the Mykonos pelican died way back in 1986, the whole of Mykonos went into mourning. It took a person of the stature of Jackie Kennedy-Onassis to come to the rescue of Mykonos grieving populace and the compassionate Jackie Kennedy-Onassis rightfully donated another pelican to the island, Irene. It is said that the Hamburg Zoo had also donated a pelican named Petros. A few years back, there was an instance of another injured Pelican found in Mykonos by the local people who nursed it back to normal.They named the Pelican Nikolas. Now, in Mykonos, there are not one but three Pelicans that can be seen wandering about Mykonos harbor.

 

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