Transumanza 2024
Troina, Sicily

Transumanza 2024


Celebrating our donkey on Endangered Species Day

This past weekend we had the pleasure of taking part in our town's 2024 Transumanza, which is, you may recall from our post on last year's event, the practice, or, in official animal husbandry-speak, transhumance, of moving livestock from one grazing ground to another in a seasonal cycle, typically to lowlands in winter and highlands in summer.

This year's two day event took place a month earlier due to drought conditions in Sicily, and was also our first time doing both days. Last year, we did just the march from the valley to the town. But this time, we met our special, friendly herd again the next morning to finish the transfer up into the Nebrodi mountains, where they will stay until the Fall.

If you're interested, here is a link to last year's story and video we shared.

You may also recall the particulars around this particular donkey, from a story Franca wrote titled, A Mayor, the Mafia, and Donkeys. In it she shares how the Ragusano, one of only eight indigenous donkey breeds recognized by the Italian Ministry, and listed since 2007 by the UN as endangered, has become a symbol of the struggle to displace crime with bold, courageous community-based action.

The work to save this rare breed of animal is not finished, however, as coincidentally May 17 is Endangered Species Day, a day in which thousands of people celebrate, learn, and take action to protect threatened and endangered species. Around the world, wildlife refuges, gardens, schools, libraries, museums, community groups, nonprofits, and individuals will hold special programs or events. To find an event near you, check here.

We are proud of Troina and how it has adopted many of the old ways of raising animals, one that is more fostering of a symbiotic, reciprocal relationship with these creatures, and see hope for a future where all living things on our planet share in the benefit of shared responsibility, action and perseverance.

Here's a short two minute video we created to show this year's Transumanza. The joy you see on our faces, despite covering a distance uphill of nearly 15 miles in the two day journey, is genuine. This truly has become one of the unique events we look forward to every year in our Sicily hilltown home. Please feel free to share it with others.

Thanks for reading and have a great week!


Transumanza, Troina, Sicily 2024

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