Donkey’s World has been my “go to” place for quite some time now. In a country like Greece, where donkey’s are either considered an “old school” useless tool, replaced by all terrain cars and basically going extinct, or being exploited for profit, and serving as a tourist attraction, Donkey’s world is like a an oasis in the desert.
Today I finally made it to Donkey’s world, and I am trying very hard to put this post together, because I am too overwhelmed to make sense.
What is Donkey’s World?
According to their official website (unfortunately only in Greek), Donkey’s world is a nonprofit organization, set up to “preserve, highlight and reintroduce the donkey to the modern lifestyle, as a companion animal” also focusing on its recognition as part of the Greek tradition and its usefulness as a therapeutic animal.
Basically, there are about nine happy, healthy, sweet donkeys living in Donkey’s world- a small farm on the outskirts of Athens, with olive trees, almond trees and thyme bushes, built to resemble the Greek countryside.
What is Donkey’s world really about?
Donkey’s world is about love and commitment. It is about some very special people’s effort to make us rethink what this amazing and sadly underestimated animal actually is.
What I saw today were nine healthy, happy, well fed, groomed and looked after pet donkeys. Nine social, loving animals, living a life few members of their kind get to live. I also met some amazing people, who “know their donkeys” very well.
The couple managing the place knows everything there is to know about donkeys: its history, the traditions about it, its place in our culture, our religion, and our lives. They also know the character of each one of the donkeys they care for, and treat them with nothing but respect and love.
Donkey’s World schedule
The place is open to the public on Sundays, from 11 am to 4 pm. On Saturdays, donkey walks are organized to the nearby mountain – you can’t ride them, nobody can, they are pets, remember? From Monday to Friday the place is opens for organized school visits – the children are the future anyway – if they don’t get to know about animal welfare, the future of humanity will not be paved with roses.
There is a small entrance fee of six euros (well, exit fee, to be exact) and a cute gift shop (I bought everything I could – a mug, a postcard and a key chain), and the income helps support the donkeys.