As the wildfires continue to wreak havoc on the beautiful island of Rhodes, locals are coming together to help their fellow inhabitants – the animals. With as many as 10,000 British tourists stranded in Greece due to the wildfires, the situation remains dire.
Local authorities have undertaken a massive evacuation effort, relocating approximately 19,000 people, predominantly visitors to Rhodes, to safer areas. The entire country is grappling with 82 ongoing wildfires after experiencing one of the hottest days of the summer on 23rd July.
In the midst of this crisis, compassionate residents are making heartfelt pleas for assistance to the island’s animals. Ioanna Strigari, a Rhodes resident, posted a poignant photo of a distressed deer searching for food in a residential garden. Her appeal to the community was clear – leave out food and water for the animals affected by the devastating blaze.
“SOS guys. Those of you who live in Afantou and surrounding areas, deer have appeared looking for food and water,” Ioanna wrote.
She implored, “Everyone leave carrots, apples, and plenty of water outside your home so the hungry and scared animals can find them.”
The photo from Afantou served as a reminder of the dire situation these animals now face, and Ioanna’s call for support garnered solidarity from fellow residents, who eagerly shared her post to amplify the message.
As one local commented, “Repost this so the message gets out everywhere. Let’s help the animals as much as we can.”
Another expressed concern, “Oh my gosh. Protect the innocent souls from the evil of the two-legged monsters!”
Gianna wrote, “I hope they give them water and food without scaring them.”
Nikos shared his emotions, “My soul is crying. I sob for Greece.”
Anthula conveyed her sorrow, “Such a shame.”
The European fallow deer (Dama dama), believed to have been brought to the island by the Crusaders during the Medieval times, holds a special place in the hearts of the locals. As the largest free-living mammals in Rhodes, they also serve as the symbol of the Greek island. The presence of two grand deer statues at the entrance to the island’s Mandraki Marina and Port is a testament to the deep connection and admiration for these majestic creatures.
As Rhodes battles these devastating wildfires, the unity and compassion displayed by its residents in protecting the island’s wildlife demonstrate the unwavering spirit of the community. In times of crisis, coming together to lend a helping hand to those in need, be it humans or animals, is a testament to the resilience and kindness of the human spirit.
Let us stand in solidarity with Rhodes and its inhabitants, as they work tirelessly to protect and preserve their beloved island and the precious lives it holds.