Petros: Mykonos’ Resident Pelican
As told, the story is that a caring Mykonos fisherman came upon the injured pelican in 1954 and decided to care for it until it regained its heath. Once healed, in a suprising turn, the pelican did not attempt to leave, but rather made the island its home. The locals began feeding the pelican and it became a staple around the island, playing in the water and wandering through town’s restaurants and numerous alleyways. Eventually, he was given the name Petros and his presence became synonymous with the island. After living on the island for more than thirty years, Petros died in 1986.
As expected, local residents and tourists alike were deeply upset by the loss of Petros. Jackie Kennedy Onassis, who had spent time on the island, had donated a female pelican to the town, named Irini to offer Petros some companionship. Following his death, The Hamburg Zoo also gave the islanders a pelican to act as the original Petros’ successor. In the years following, another migrating pelican, who would later be named Nikolas, was brought to the island as a result of a storm and has since made Mykonos his home.
Today all three pelicans, Irini, Petros II and Nikolas can still be found roaming the island and graciously posing for photos with intrigued tourists.