In Bonaire we visited the donkey sanctuary. There are about 400 donkeys under their care with another 200 or more roaming free around the island. All but approximately 100 males are neutered. The sanctuary is trying to raise funds to neuter the remaining males, in effect slowly but humanely eradicating the donkeys from Bonaire.
It was a hot day, but they are all hot days. So we rode our bicycles anyway several miles inland to the donkey sanctuary. This place is a class act. There is a nominal fee to enter, which goes towards food and care for the donkeys. Most, if not all, the help is volunteer. First, you enter a small gift shop to purchase your entrance tickets. They stopped us before we even entered. “Since you are on bicycles, let me give you a brief orientation to know what to expect before you pay to enter.” How very considerate, but what was the issue with entering by bicycle or on foot? The sanctuary is normally visited by car and you can drive through. “The compound is not so large that you can’t walk to all the important areas, but if you feed the donkeys carrots walking may become difficult.” Of course we chose to enter anyway and were very glad we did, but we did appreciate the tip to not feed the donkeys until we’d gotten as far as we plan to walk. Then only our path to exit may be impeded. So we walked all the way to the well-built observation tower before we broke out the carrots. During that walk, a few donkeys showed minor interest in us, but most could care less. As soon as the carrots showed up everything changed. We became VERY popular and they knew that Dave kept the carrots in his bag, so most donkeys were hanging with him.
The sanctuary is divided between the mass population, the mothers and babies, the senior citizens, and others that needed special care like those hit by cars. There was also a section for iguanas and tortoises. I didn’t ask, but I assume they are also rescues for whatever reasons. It was an enjoyable day and I recommend a visit while in Bonaire. Next up, more awesome diving and my camera skills get noticeably better.