You’ve probably heard many exciting stories about parties and nightlife on this island, but here is a more heartwarming one, the story of the Mykonos mascot called Petros. Mykonos island’s mascot, Petros, lived during the past century but is still remembered today as one of the island’s most spectacular and unique residents.
Petros was the name of the most famous pelican that became a huge part of the island’s history. This unique water bird was a great attraction on the streets during the second half of the 20th century. This bird was so special and popular that it became the main mascot of the island. It was known by the majority of locals who took care of him and treated him as a very notable resident.
During Petros’ reign on The Island of the Winds, it was believed that he became its resident by accident. In 1958, after he was found hurt by a local fisherman, he was nursed back to life by the kind man. The bird never wanted to leave this place again, Mykonos became his home, and he grew close to the local community.
The people named him Petros, from the Greek word “petro,” which means stone, but also grumpy and old. Since then, he has been a huge attraction for tourists, young children, and even some celebrities who stayed here for a vacation. Many of them petted him, fed him, and of course, took numerous photos with him. He soon became the most famous pelican mascot of Mykonos.
In the video below, you can see the real footage of Petros strolling around the streets of Chora in the 1960s.
During the 20th century, there was a popular anecdote about him causing a lawsuit, which was being recounted at all the popular bars and the famous Greek taverns. At some point during his life, he flew to a nearby isle of Tinos. The locals of Tinos knew about his status and decided to keep him there.
However, the Mykonians were strongly against that and wanted their neighbor back, so they decided to start a lawsuit against the Tinos. Once they regained custody of the bird, there was a huge party with music, drinks, and celebrations in every town on the island.
After thirty long years on the Mykonian coast, Petros sadly passed away on December 2, 1985. The bird was injured in an accident by a car and, unfortunately, didn’t survive. All the local residents mourned its death for a long time.
Locals were so heartbroken and angry because of the loss that there were even numerous theories about the mascot’s death. This water bird was what this place was famous for, and the locals took this sad news very hard. All the visitors and tourists could feel that the town was not the same after his death. However, things were soon about to change.
It is no secret that Jackie Kennedy Onassis was a fan of this popular party destination and loved to travel here. Back in the day, she would spend her summers relaxing on gorgeous beaches and enjoying the Greek coast. Jackie O’ was also a big fan of Petros, and she would always greet him while on her vacation on Mykonos.
When he passed away, Jackie O’ decided to donate a new pelican to the local community, this time, a girl named Irene. Apparently, the Hamburg Zoo was also touched by the heartbreaking story and also decided to give a boy pelican to Myconians. The boy was first named Petros, but locals renamed it to Nikolas.
Today, almost forty years after Petros’ death, the story of him continues to linger on among the residents and tourists. On the streets of this island, you can still spot some pelicans, some of which resemble Petros quite much. It is believed that today three birds are roaming around Little Venice and the old harbor, but who knows, you might spot one next to your Mykonos villa.
The island’s waterways provide the perfect environment for this lovely creature, and they enjoy spending time here. They are also very kind to visitors and don’t mind being photographed by tourists on some of the most popular Instagram spots. If you are planning on visiting this spectacular place soon, one of the things you must do is to greet one of these gorgeous birds.
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