Aruba, wild donkeys and cuteness overload

Did you know that donkey’s have been around since even before the dynasty of the Egyptian civilization we learned about in secondary school? It’s true, the modern donkey dates back over 6,000 years! While they are found in the murals of the tomb of the New Kingdom pharaoh Tutankhamun as hunted animals, their importance is much greater than that. Since even then the donkeys have been a desert-adapted animal, able to carry heavy loads.

donkey sanctuary aruba

Unfortunately, in some parts of the world these animals need to be protected. Introduced to Aruba by the Spanish around 1527, donkeys were originally used as transportation. Once cars and population picked up, many were simply just let go into the wild. Being domesticated animals, without proper care and feeding many died of disease and a safe haven was needed. In 1997, that safe haven opened and was aptly named the Donkey Sanctuary.

Since then, the owners have been committed to not only saving the donkeys on the island, but also making education about them a fun, family attraction in Aruba. In addition to being able to pet and cuddle the animals, if you arrive early enough, families can even help feed and care for them. During our visit to Aruba, this was easily my son’s most favorite activity along with the visit to the Butterfly Farm

donkey sanctuary aruba

If you’d like to take it a step further, through Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino‘s partnership with the Donkey Sanctuary, travelers can participate in the Support the Donkeys program by donating $10 towards maintaining sanctuary in exchange for a commemorative purse or backpack that makes for a great trip souvenir. Travelers can also adopt a donkey for $200 per year, which goes towards ensuring the donkeys receive food and water, shelter, quality medical care, and of course…lots of love.

donkey sanctuary aruba

Fun Facts about Donkeys

Because Donkeys are desert-adapted they can go up to four days without water! But, when water is available, the donkey drinks 10 to 15 liters of water a day – that’s a lot! Unfortunately, the rest of a donkey’s diet isn’t so great. They survive on grass, leaves, seeds and even cactus, but they actually prefer sweets like fruit and sugar lumps, even though it’s bad for their digestion and their teeth.

Given their poor diet decisions it’s surprising that the average life span is between 35 and 40 years but donkeys have lived as long as 50. Unlike people, a donkey becomes an adult at only five years old. You can determine the age of a donkey by it’s teeth; younger donkeys have oval teeth and older donkeys teeth are more round.

Donkeys are social animals who like to live in groups ranging in size from two to sixteen. They rarely leave these groups unless they are ill, recently had birth, or are too old to keep up.

How Donkeys and Horses Differ: The easiest way to tell Donkey from a Horse is the way they look. Donkeys are short and stout, whereas horses are taller and slimmer. Donkeys also have shorter manes and tails.

donkey sanctuary aruba

All of the fun facts and cool information written here is provided by the Donkey Sanctuary but they have so much more to offer. Be sure to check them out on your next trip to Aruba.

27 thoughts on “Aruba, wild donkeys and cuteness overload”

  1. When I think of donkeys I am reminded of the time of christ and how donkeys were used them. I have not heard of the donkey sanctuary but sounds like they are doing amazing work

    Reply
  2. This would be so fun to visit! We live in a rural area where people keep donkeys in with the cows or goats as protection. And, they are so adorable when there’s a little baby. Baby donkeys are so cute!

    Reply
  3. This was fascinating. I had no idea about half of these facts. I like donkeys and it’s horrifying the way they are sometimes treated. The Donkey Sanctuary is a godsend for these animals.

    Reply
  4. It would really be fun to interact with the donkeys especially for kids. They would really love and learn a lot from their experience.

    Reply
  5. I clearly didn’t know much about donkeys after reading this. I’ve certainly learned a thing or two. I love to see kids with animals.

    Reply
  6. I know this sounds crazy but I love donkeys! My husband is from a rural part of Italy and we go every summer. There are a few farms in the area with wild donkeys…they are so cute and so docile (at least the ones I came across!).

    Reply
  7. So much fun to see children interacting with different animals. That way they learn how to be around them and to appreciate them.

    Reply
  8. Really cute pictures indeed & your kid adds more cuteness to them. I would love to take my kids to one such sanctuary & they are going to be really excited seeing those donkeys in huge numbers.

    Reply
  9. How awesome! I would love to see this and they are doing such great work. The donkeys look so sweet and Aruba would be wonderful to visit. Putting it on my bucket list!

    Reply
  10. This looks like such a cool place. My kids would love to get up close to the donkeys like this. I’d love to visit Aruba.

    Reply
  11. My daughter would enjoy something like this. She just love animals and thanks for the facts. I had no idea donkey’s lived to be so long.

    Reply
  12. I’m so glad the Donkey Sanctuary offers a safe haven for donkeys. What a great place to visit with the kids. Your pics are adorable. Love the Donkey of the Week board!

    Reply
  13. I want to go to Aruba. That is cool that they are doing what they can to preserve donkies. I’ve seen a few donkies near where I live. I haven’t seen one up close though.

    Reply

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.