The Animals of Bonaire

Megan and Carlos

Bonaire's fauna is dominated by the "feral" donkeys whose ancestors were brought to the island as pack animals in the 1800s.

This donkey is named Carlos. He's the head of the family of five donkeys that hang around Happy Holiday Homes. The owners of Happy Holiday Homes give them fresh water.

We gave them crackers, pop tarts, and peanut butter sandwiches.

Megan and Carlos
Megan and CarlosMegan and Carlos
Carlos the father donkeyCarlos and Chris
Carlos and Megan at the front gate at HHHBonita and Megan
Sorry Carlos, no more

We kept trying to feed Carlos's family -- his two females and two young -- instead of just Carlos. It was a challenge. Carlos is clearly the alpha male, which means first dibs on crackers.

Bonita and Bambi with ChrisHappy Holiday Homes, Bonita and Chris
Carlos nose
Chris in front of Happy Holiday Homes

This is one of the adult females.

Megan and Bambi

These are the two young ones. The littlest one is Bambi. She was just six weeks old -- too young to even eat solid foods. Since the others were interested in the crackers, she was interested, but when we'd try to give her one she didn't know what to do with it. She'd end up trying to suck our fingers.

Bambi the baby donkey
BambiBambi of Bonaire

The wildlife beyond the donkeys is pretty limited, since the landscape is rather inhospitable. It's dry, very much like Arizona.

Chris in Bonaire
Bonaire goat

There are lots of goats. These run free like the donkeys, but apparently the locals round them up once in a while.

There are also some bats.

Bat cave at Onima Bonaire
Lizard feeding

And lizards, lizards, lizards ...

There are some iguanas, but very few large adult iguanas. They're captured and eaten. Some locals believe that eating iguanas makes men more potent. :(

We did see one iguana that Chris swears was the size of a dog. He was the only who saw it. The ones who live definitely know how to move quickly.

On the other hand, when it comes to the smaller lizards pictured here, natural selection doesn't seem to act so quickly. We saw them by the thousands sunning themselves on the pavement in the middle of the roads. Sometimes we'd have to completely stop the truck and honk if we wanted to avoid running them over.

We discovered that these little guys do move quickly when they think food is involved. In these pictures Chris is creating photo opportunities for Megan by encouraging the lizards to think he was feeding them round pink meat snacks, i.e. his fingers. Fortunately, they don't have much in the way of teeth.

LizardLizard feeding
Bonaire lizard

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