Somewhere on the shore or in one of the narrow streets of chora, the bird symbol of Mykonos, Petros the Pelican, moves lazily and smugly toward the stalls of fishermen or the Town Hall to have his breakfast. This is a very popular and photographed theme of Mykonos, which can be met by visitors at any time of the day, until the lights of the night fall, some times to watch him swim to the waters of the shore and others to stand proud for a quick photo shoot among thousands of tourists . There was a time that up to three pelicans were on the island. Today there is only one.
The history: In 1958, a young pelican fell into the sea, near a boat from the island, who for unknown reasons was forced to separate from the herd. A fisherman picked him and after he took care of him, he brought him to the port. Once this pelican rested, ate well and strengthened, he adapted to such a degree that he permanently stayed in Mykonos, where the fishermen residents offered food and care to him. They even gave him a human name, so loved was that wild bird: he was now known to everyone as Peter.
This first pelican quickly became the 'mascot' of the island, a role that lasted until his death in 1986. Moved by the nice but lonely feeling created by the presence of the bird, Jackie Kennedy, who had in the meanwhile visited Mykonos, decided to donate to the island another, female pelican that was shortly given the name Irene.
After the death of the first Peter, an offer was made to the island from the zoo in Hamburg, another male pelican, who took the name of the last one, and was also called "Peter".
Another pelican was donated to the island in 1995 by the former Mayor of Munich Christian Ude, who was declared honorary citizen of Mykonos.
The first Peter now welcomes guests to the Folklore Museum of Mykonos in Paraportiani Square where he found his place among other folklore elements of the island.