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Donkey Sanctuary Bonaire
Ranked #6 of 102 things to do in Bonaire
Certificate of Excellence
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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.
Yonkers, NY
Level Contributor
64 reviews
28 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 June 2012

I surprisingly had a great time! It's fun to feed them! God bless this woman for caring for these poor creatures!

Visited September 2011
6 Thank bsherdiver
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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664 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
Melbourne, Florida
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Visit the Donkey Sanctuary and come away with a smile and feeling good.”
Reviewed 31 May 2012

This non-profit organization shelters many of the island's unwanted and neglected donkeys and gives them a good life. There is a small entrance fee and every dime goes for their care, feeding, and medical treatment. The wonderful lady who started the sanctuary, Marina, lives in a small shed on the property rather than spend any of the money on housing for herself. You can bring carrots and apples and feed the donkeys from your car window as you drive through. There is also a nice viewing platform which overlooks the large grounds which house the fortunate donkeys who live in this well-maintained refuge. It was my first encounter with donkeys and my husband and I found them sweet, gentle, and loving.

Visited May 2012
7 Thank Betty J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York
Level Contributor
20 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Gotta love those donkeys”
Reviewed 18 May 2012

Ok so being an animal lover I had to see this place. What an amazing time ! The donkeys are so cute and friendly we had so much fun! Can't wait to go back

4 Thank kravmagaNewYork
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Gainesville, GA
Level Contributor
168 reviews
42 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 94 helpful votes
“A must see attraction on the island”
Reviewed 18 May 2012

You have to go see the wonderful work that is done at this non-profit place that soley relies on your donations. The people that run this have such a passion for the donkeys and have to see the pleasure and pain that comes with animal rescue. I highly recommend seeing the donkeys that were left behind and that were saved by this wonderful couple.

Visited May 2012
5 Thank PokerCPA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Houston, Texas
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“One of our funniest memories from our honeymoon”
Reviewed 16 May 2012

Donkey sanctuary was by far the most amusing thing we experienced outside of the water. ( Not to mention some very comical pictures to add to our scrapbooks )

Be sure to make time to go visit the Sanctuary if you are on Bonaire. It's well worth the short drive and be sure to bring a HUGE bag of carrots. You will be more popular than David Hasselhoff in Germany ...

Visited April 2012
5 Thank HazardBuckJacobs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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