In the past couple of weeks, I have heard about two donkeys getting hit by vehicles here on island. I do not know whether the donkeys were standing in the middle of the road, whether speed was a factor or what other condition may have caused this to happen, but I thought it would be a good time to remind everyone not to feed the donkeys and why.
Like many of you, I absolutely adore the donkeys. When I see them, I want to stop the Jeep, get out and hug them. But clearly, I do not. If the donkeys are safe on the side of the road, at the Coral Bay overlook, for example, sure I will stop and take some pics. But if they are hanging on Centerline, for example, I simple slow down and pass by. Why? Because I don’t want to encourage them to stand in the roadway and risk getting injured.
I wrote a story back in 2017 about why we should not feed the donkeys. (Someone actually sent me a pic of a donkey eating a lollipop last year, and needless to say, it didn’t make me smile.) At that time, this is what the National Park told me about what could happen when we feed them:
“It causes them to be aggressive and bite. It is very bad for them to eat common people food. It trains them to stay close to the road looking for handouts. When close to the road, they are at risk of being injured or killed! If hit by a small car, could cause serious injuries to passengers and particularly small children.”
The donkeys are perfectly happy grazing on grass or eating leaves. And while the island is still a tad dry, there is definitely plenty for them to eat.
In the meantime, for all of you donkey lovers out there, please enjoy this video that was taken on Cruz Bay beach last week. Looks like they were checking out the status of Wharfside too…
Have a great Wednesday everyone!