While strolling in Mykonos Chora, don’t be surprised to come across a pelican wandering around, treated and petted even from waiters at the tavernas. This is “Petros” the Pelican, the official mascot of the island and you probably have already seen him in pictures, postcards or magazines. Many stories, myths and articles follow the legendary Pelican of Mykonos since 1958, the year that the lucky bird became part of the local community.
This is how it all started:
In 1958, an injured pelican was found by a local fisherman, who took care of the bird and nursed it back to health. The people of Mykonos quickly grew fond of it and named it Petros (Peter),as a joke between the locals, as “petro” in Greek means rock, stone but metaphorically Old and Grumpy. To great disappointment for locals and visitiors, a year later Petros the Pelican died a rape victim of a drunk tourist, according to one version of the story or hit by a car, according to another version. The islanders then brought his successor and gave him the same name. Later, Jackie Kennedy donated another Pelican bird that was named Irene.
Since then, the number of Petros’ successors is uncertain but pelicans in Mykonos are an integral part of the local tradition. Today, Petros the Pelican has a girlfriend and they stroll together along the waterfront all day. These Pelicans love to be petted and photographed, so, in case you encounter the couple, do not hesitate to approach and share some moments with the lovely birds.