Pelicans are not endemic of the island, so why? Let’s talk about one of the most iconic characters in our community.
In 1958, when Mykonos was just one of the Aegean Sea islands, a wounded pelican was saved by a local fisherman; he took care of the bird, quite sure that once this would have been healed, he would have gone away.
They became close friends, and Petros remained.
Petros means “stone” in greek, but it’s a common name given to the old, grumpy men; it sounded like it was perfect because of its behaviour.
Thanks to Aristotelis Onassis making Mykonos a famous destination, Petros’ reputation grew too. Two more pelicans were donated to keep company to the first one (and one of them was a gift of Jacqueline Onassis).
Mykonian people were sad when Petros died. Still, its notoriety was so big that it was necessary to replace the pelican. Since the ’80ies, we assisted to a sequence of new pelicans walking around Mykonos town; the last one arrived in 2014. Don’t be astonished seeing him on every kind of gadget.
Some inhabitants of Mykonos Town take care of the current Petros, avoiding tourists to be too bothering. This one is very calm and meek compared to his predecessors; it’s easy to find him having a walk in the alleys of the χώρα, mostly during May and June and again at the end of September.
He likes to be pet, but just a little and for brief moments. He has a long beak, and he’s ready to use it!
Finally, a widespread tradition wants shopkeepers to believe that a Petros’ visit inside their shops is an excellent omen. Everybody waits for him and respects this pelican since it’s always Pedro who decides where to go during his very long walks!