The Alkioni Aegean Wildlife Hospital in Paros: According to an ancient Greek myth, Alcyone was a beautiful daughter of Aeolus, the god of winds, who boasted to the gods that she was happier than them. Her arrogance infuriated Zeus, the king of the gods, who killed her husband and transformed her into a beautiful sea bird, destined to lay her eggs in winter, on the rocks by the sea. Unfortunately, the strong winds that blew in winter would break her eggs and Alcyone was unprotected from the extreme weather conditions.
In total despair, she prayed to the gods to stop the winds and let her eggs mature. Zeus felt sorry for her and ordered the winds to stop blowing for fifteen days so that Alcyone could lay her eggs and have babies. For her sake, every year at the end of January, the extreme winter conditions calm down for about two weeks and the weather gets warmer. That is how the ancient Greeks explained this strange natural phenomenon that happens annually in winter.
This myth was the inspiration behind the Aegean Wildlife Hospital of Paros named Alkioni. The hospital was established in 1995 and is dedicated to the protection and rehabilitation of wounded wild birds and animals. It functions as a shelter for animals suffering from illegal hunting, infections and accidents - in other words, for animals that need care and protection.
As Alkioni Wildlife Hospital is supported exclusively by volunteers, it doesn't have its own funds. Since 2000, this center is housed in a 12,600 sq.m. estate in Kamares, Paros, in a property donated by the Monastery of Logovarda. In its headquarters, there is a veterinary clinic, an X-ray laboratory, an exhibition hall, rooms for the volunteers and large fenced areas to house wild birds and species until they are ready to return to their natural environment.
To continue its work, Alkioni rests on the donations and volunteer help of people who love animals and want to contribute from the slightest work (distributing leaflets in Parikia) to more important tasks, such as taking part in programs for environmental education.