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Tuesday 4 March 2014

The Wild Donkeys Of North Cyprus

Did you know there are hundreds of wild donkeys living in North Cyprus. Located in the pan handle area of the island, the wild donkeys enjoy a protective environment which is the Karpaz national park. This area is a protected area, with a limited amount of construction being permitted, preserving the natural environment, untouched beaches and natural habitat of the wild donkeys.

Wild Donkeys Saying Hello in North Cyprus

Where Did These Donkeys Come From?
The Donkeys historically are actually from domestic donkeys. They were once important to households and farmers. Each family would have a donkey to help them with agricultural duties, carry stock, olives, carobs, fruit, vegetables to storage, and to traders. Donkeys were once a key mode of transport.

They were left in the 1970s, when the island was divided. As people abandoned them, they were left to fend for themselves in the wild. Over the decades the donkeys grew in numbers in the wild.

How Many Donkeys?
Now there is currently and estimated 500 wild donkeys in Karpaz region. The donkeys were at one point going to be sold of to turkey, however due to pressure from environmentalists and biologists; they were left to enjoy their natural surroundings. Now considered a national heritage, they are protected species.

What Now?
The donkeys still live in this beautiful part of the island. One of the most virgin areas in the Mediterranean, the region is out of bounds for tourism development. However there is small eco villages and house being built. Large complexes are not permitted. However pressure for tourism is continuing, with potential for investment overtaking the occasional guided tours of the area, with various considerations over the years for using this precious land.

I personally glad the land remains untouched as a national asset. An amazing place to visit on all counts, the Karpaz peninsula has scenery unfound elsewhere. Beaches challenge those in the Caribbean let alone the Mediterranean, and the crystal clear waters, and open landscape are just mesmerising.

The Donkeys… well Im sure they are quite happy relaxing under the shade of the olive trees, and enjoying the slow pace of life up in the Northern tip of North Cyprus.
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