Kokos (George) – The Pafos Harbour Pelican
“Kokos” the pelican has returned to the Pafos Harbour, putting smiles on tourists and local’s faces alike, especially those of children. He is friendly, harmless and likes posing for the cameras.
Having seen him this time, I thought I’d do a little research about the history of the Pafos Pelican. Click the link below the photo to read more.
Taken with a Canon Exilim EX-1200
I wasn’t able to find why we call him “Kokos”, but I’m pretty sure that the nickname was given to him many years ago, 1967 to be precise, by the locals. If anybody has more information, please add using the comments below, but this is a rough translation of an article which I have found in Greek.
In 1957, a small restaurant/coffee shop opens in the scenic harbour of Kato Pafos with the name “AFRODITE” to serve the few fishermen as well as the workers of the merchant ships which docked once in a while at Kato Pafos.
In 1967 a strange visitor is found exhausted at sea a little outside the harbour. This is a beautiful pelican which is taken by the fishermen to the “AFRODITE” restaurant.
Having being looked after and fed, he was helped to heal and strengthen so that he would be able to continue on his migratory journey. When the moment reaches however, that the pelican must leave the area to rejoin his flock, he refuses to abandon the “free meals” and excellent care and attention that he was enjoying at the restaurant. And so, the amazing “Kokos” remains at the restaurant and becomes the mascot of “AFRODITE”.
During 1969, “Kokos” the pelican becomes so popular and loved that it forces the owner of the restaurant to rename it from “AFRODITE” to “PELICAN”.
Three years later, in 1972, the Pafos Harbour becomes poorer as “Kokos” unfortunately loses his life after being ran over by a bus.
In 1974, the PELICAN restaurant is almost completely destroyed during bombardment by the Turkish Air Force during the Turkish invasion of July.
In 1975, the PELICAN restaurant is restored and returns to operation.
In 2004, after much effort, the importation of a new pelican from Africa is made possible. He was once again called “Kokos”, spreading joy and enthusiasm to the restaurant’s clientele as well as to the visitors of Kato Pafos Harbour.
I’m really glad I found this story. It’s amazing how a single bird can transform the popularity of a place over such a big amount of time. Interestingly in another article, it was suggested that last year things were so bad for local businesses that even the pelican abandoned ship and flew away.
So I’m guessing that this is a new pelican.
Either way, welcome back “Kokos”, the pelican of Pafos Harbour.
P.S. What happened to the camel?