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
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.