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Donkey Sanctuary Bonaire
Ranked #6 of 100 things to do in Bonaire
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: In 1993 Dutch Nationals, Marina Melis and her husband Ed Koopman, established a donkey sanctuary on Bonaire for sick, wounded and orphaned donkeys: Donkey Sanctuary Bonaire. The primary objective of Donkey Sanctuary Bonaire is to offer a sheltered, protected life to all the donkeys of Bonaire. Our information about the lives and experiences of donkeys is also raising awareness amongst the local community, schools and tourists. At this moment there are more than 400 donkeys living in Donkey Sanctuary Bonaire. They are provided with food, drinking water and medical care and have plenty of room and freedom. When a report arrives about a live wild donkey in distress, volunteers are sent to the rescue. Sick and wounded animals are nursed and, where necessary, a vet is called upon to give medical attention. Orphaned foals are raised with a baby bottle. All stallions that arrive at the sanctuary are castrated to avoid expansion of the numbers of donkeys in care. Once the animals are recovered, they are lucky enough to spend the rest of their lives lovingly cared for at Donkey Sanctuary Bonaire. In all the years Donkey Sanctuary Bonaire has been active, a lot has already been achieved. Hundreds of donkeys were saved from the streets in miserable condition and were given a safe life in the sanctuary. Too bad there were also many donkeys that suffered from so severe illness or injuries, that they could not be cured. Donkey Sanctuary Bonaire paid for these animals the cost of putting them to sleep by a vet, so at least they were released from suffering any longer.
Anaheim, California
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed August 13, 2012

Our children loved the Donkey Sanctuary. We will be going again this week before leaving Bonaire. So wonderful that there is a safe place for the donkies to be taken care of. We saw a few babies the last time we were here. Driving around and interacting with the donkey was fun!

Visited August 2012
5 Thank mamaofthree_3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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644 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Portuguese first
  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
New Orleans
Level Contributor
23 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
“These people have heart”
Reviewed July 15, 2012

You pay a small fee to ride through the sanctuary and interact with the rescued animals. You can also stop by the nursery to see the small donkeys. The people who run the place are dedicated to making sure the donkeys on Bonaire are not abused or harmed by vehicles etc. Supporting the Donkey Sanctuary is a great thing to do while on Bonaire.

Visited June 2012
4 Thank greenturtle53
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bethesda MD
Level Contributor
30 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
“Who knew....I love donkeys”
Reviewed July 13, 2012

We heard during our last trip that the donkey sanctuary was fun...
I would give up several dives just to go again. They are like, huge friendly dogs.

Apparently the locals dont like them and treat them poorly. I just dont get that. The people that work here are saints.

If you have kids this is must do.

This is from a guy who despises PETA and thinks horses are dumb as gnats.

Visited July 2012
5 Thank MDDive
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Marietta, Georgia, USA
Level Contributor
32 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Nice way to spend last morning in Bonaire”
Reviewed June 15, 2012

Visit starts at the gift shop, then to the nursery and ends with a drive through the sanctuary where donkeys trot along beside the car hoping you'll stop and feed or pet them. Take a lot of carrots with you and you'll have lots of donkey friends. They stick their heads in the car and smile a lot. Love that the donkeys are being well cared for there.

Visited June 2012
4 Thank georgiabeachpeach
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
The Hague, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
1,442 reviews
563 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 714 helpful votes
“Cannot be missed”
Reviewed June 15, 2012

This is one of the best attractions on Bonaire for children and adults alike. The ladies looking after the many donkeys are very dedicated, the souvenirs are nice, but above all the donkeys are very sympathetic in their slightly obnoxious way. Good advice is to stop feeding carrots from the car some 100 meters or so before you stop and get out, otherwise you will be completely surrounded by hordes of hungry donkeys.

Visited February 2012
5 Thank Hermes_NL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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