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The donkeys

Donkey Sanctuary Bonaire is a nonprofit organization. We depend on entrance fees, profits of the souvenir shop, donations and the labor of volunteers. You can contribute by adopting a donkey via our Donkey Adoption Program LOV’ IAAAAAA. Which one of us appeals to you?

Let us know!

More adoption information and the adopt form via THIS LINK.

Let us know by filling in the form on THIS PAGE which donkey you´d like to adopt and we´ll arrange for it.
Thank you very much for your support.
We can use it well.

Caribbean regards,
Marina and the Donkey Team

Marina en het Donkeyteam

Zenja (age 3, F)

I’m a little, ehh, restless, indeed. In my body and in my mind. And enthusiastic. Oh yes, enthusiastic I am too! So when you call me, brace yourself. Because I’ll jump into your arms with all my body and 4 legs at the same time.

Dolly (age 8, F)

It’s lovely to see you. What do you say? Does that sound a little distant? It shouldn’t because what I would actually like to say is I would like to rip off your clothes and smother you with kisses. Is that what you wanted to hear?

Serena (age 4, F)

Halliiiaaa! You won’t find me in the front of the park. No way, I’m way in the back with a few good friends. Why? We just love the silence! Not being busy all day. Here things are like they used to be.

Heleen (age 16, F)

I project my mind in a creative manner using mantras... iiiiiiiiiiii - aaaaaaaaa. I’ll be totally in the flow then, babe. And it seems everything is flowing lighter and easier. It’s a pity we cannot use incense in the park because of the risk of fire.

Diamond (age 12, F)

Namaste. I am a spiritual donkey. My nature is very serene. I contemplate before I form an opinion and proclaim it. I meditate for at many hours a day and just let the fuss slide away from me.

Dodi (age 16, F)

I’m a lady of 16 years old and I look quite good if you don’t mind me saying so myself. I mix respectfully, I am relaxed and easy with others. On the one hand I’m very active but on the other hand I’m very quiet. Depending on how I feel that day.

Dido (4 jaar, M)

They say I’m stubborn but that is totally not true. At all! I am a champion at debating, that is true. But that’s just a hobby, right, just being a little contrarian. Just fun to do.

Charly (age 15, F)

56 inch shoulder height, 330 pounds of mass. Independent. Uncommon. Intense. Sensitive. Very physical. Sweet. Learning Spanish. Beautiful singing voice. Looking for a strong and passionate adoption parent with a heart for the world, life and especially donkeys. Is that you?

Amber (age 8, F)

Well hello, do I have to sell myself here, on paper? No, you just have to get to know me and you’ll know enough. Where can you find me? Somewhere in the 150 acres in the middle of Bonaire, around my friends. If we’re meant for each other, we’ll meet.

Chico (age 3, M)

A picture is worth 1000 words. So look at me…

Sandor (age 12, M)

Yes, I may come across as a tough and cool guy. And yes, I’m very muscular, one impressive donkey, a tough and cool guy for whom many step aside for a moment. But on the inside I will just meeeeelt when I see you come across, dushi. You make my heart beat faster.

Donkeys have been living on Bonaire for hundreds of years. The animals were originally brought over by the Spaniards in the 17th century and used to perform hard labour. Once modern transport made these animals superfluous to requirements they were left to their lot. Unfortunately the donkeys did not fare well with their new-found freedom.

Since Bonaire is a dry and barren island, many donkeys die of hunger or from dehydration. Traffic presents the greatest danger. Donkeys are either killed or left badly wounded and dying along the roadside. Foals that lose their mothers are left helpless, vulnerable and as good as dead. Furthermore, the donkeys on Bonaire are regularly the victims of abuse, the examples of which are distressing: a foal stoned to death, a donkey with its ears cut off and even a donkey burned alive.

For a long time no organised help was available to these poor animals.


Below you find just a few examples of the more than 600 donkeys that live in our sanctuary.

We called this fluffy donkey boy Scotty. We brought him in together with his mum Trish. Trish was very skinny and after medical examination it turned out that she was not able to eat because of an obstruction in her stomach. Thanks to treatment by the vet and tube feeding by us she completely recovered. Thank goodness for this sweet little Scotty, because he really loves his mother!

This gorgeous mare is the mother of foal Jazzy. We found her on the streets, being in a deplorable state. She was badly undernourrished and suffered from severe bite wounds in her neck. Probably she had been attacked by a loose dog. She was lucky that we found her, for most likely she would not have survived without medical care. Now she is very happy in our sanctuar, together with her daughter Jazzy!

Our Guppie has already been living in our sanctuary for a long time. She once arrived badly injured after being hit by a car on the street. Regarding her teeth she must be approximately 37 years old by now. So a real senior lady! Therefore she nowadays lives in our special elderly paddock, together with the other 'oldies'. She there receives extra care, food and attention. We hope Guppie will be able to enjoy her evening of life for many more years.

This cute little girl is called Jazzy. Jazzy was wandering around on the streets together with her mum. Her mum was not only undernourished, but also suffered severe bite wound at her neck. Fortunately we were able to bring Jazzy and her mum into the sanctuary. Jazzy likes it a lot with us. She has a lot of friends, that she loves to play with.

Fortunately in 2014 we could start executing a Donkey Management Plan on Bonaire. Thanks to this we were able to resuce a lot of stray donkeys from the streets and offer them a good life in our sanctuary. This way also donkey mother Sierra and her son Kian arrived. An adoring pair of donkeys, that is now safe and well cared for by us. They no longer need to fear getting injured or ill out on the streets.

The pregnant mare Ayla was roaming the streets, close to our sanctuary. We succeeded to get this young lady, that got pregnant way too early, into our sanctuary. Thank goodness, as the delivery of her foal did not went well. As a result, at first Ayla did not accept her new born daughter Nuna. Through extra care for mother and child and by having them together in a stable for a longer period, fortunately a good bonding yet took place. Now Ayla is very fond of Nuna and the other way around.

Latin: Equus Asinus 
Dutch: Ezel
Papiamentu: Buriku
Body length: 200 cm / 6.6 ft.
Shoulder height: 125-145 cm / 4.2-5.5 ft.
Tail length: 42 cm / 17 in.
Weight: 175 kg - 250 kg / 385 lb - 550 lb

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