Donkey Don – Being neighborly to the island’s beloved asses.
Originally brought to St. John as work animals, donkeys today freely roam the island, choosing to stop on their own for a photo op, or a crunchy apple or carrot. Feeding the donkeys is “discouraged,” although they help themselves to trash bags overflowing at the dumpster (or tied securely in the back of your car), so offering them something fresh and tasty seems only to increase the chance of sparing another St. Johnian from a garbage disaster.
There are several packs that saunter about all over the island, from the North Shore parks to residential Cruz Bay and even out to East End. Bold male “jacks” and pregnant “jennys” guide the younger donkeys along the way. When a fuzzy new donkey arrives, it makes the island news. When the rain is scarce, donkey drinking stations are distributed. When a wild donkey is seen limping, the phone at the vet rings off the hook. You might find someone on St. Thomas hawking a dressed-up donkey in oversized sunglasses to tourists for a picture, but not on St. John. Our asses roam naked!