Create Sanctuary for Unique Donkeys

Target: Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources Chairperson, Suzanne Case

Goal: Establish native sanctuary for wild donkey population currently threatened by overpopulation and drought.

Hawaiian donkeys are being forced into civilian populations to search for food and water due to an increase in population and no increase in space. A small number of donkeys were brought to Hawaii early in its agricultural development to work on coffee plantations. Since being set loose, these few donkeys have multiplied into a wild herd numbering between 400 and 600.

The Hawaii Island Humane Society (HIHS) has been working to find homes or sanctuaries for these animals so that they don’t starve or wander onto dangerous motorways, but there are still hundreds of donkeys who need help. Establishing a local sanctuary in Hawaii for these animals is the best solution for ensuring their continued survival.

The Waikoloa donkeys are historic equines, descendants of the first donkeys to ever reside in Hawaii, and they deserve to stay where they have made their homes. Unfortunately, the sheer size of their population, coupled with increased development and drought conditions, have increased their risk of starvation or dehydration. As a result, many donkeys are moving into civilian areas, sometimes pushing down fences and entering roadways during their search for sustenance and hydration. This creates a dangerous situation for both the donkeys and local civilians.

The HIHS has taken various efforts to help these donkeys; they have asked locals to donate land or adopt donkeys, and have airlifted donkeys to sanctuaries in California. These efforts are simply not enough, however, as there are still many donkeys fighting for survival in Hawaii. By establishing a local sanctuary within Hawaii, these animals would be given a safe place to live without having to leave the place where they have made their home.

The donkeys of Hawaii deserve to be protected so that they can live long and healthy lives. In order to help these animals on a large scale, it is time more concentrated efforts be taken. Please sign the below petition to show your support for the creation of a local donkey sanctuary in Hawaii to protect these animals.


Dear Chairperson Case,

I am writing to ask that you and your department consider the creation of a local sanctuary for the Waikoloa donkeys of Hawaii. These animals are not only of historical significance within Hawaii, but are beautiful animals who deserve a safe place to live. As of now, these donkeys are struggling to find scarcer and scarcer resources and are being forced into civilian populations, creating dangerous situations for both themselves and humans. Creating a place for these donkeys to live and thrive is the best solution for ensuring their continued survival.

The Waikoloa donkeys are of historical significance in Hawaii as they hearken from the state’s early agricultural era when they were brought over to work on the coffee plantations. Since the first few donkeys brought over were originally set loose, their population has grown to somewhere between 400 and 600.

This increase in population coupled with increased development and drought conditions in Hawaii have put these animals at increased risk of starvation or dehydration. These circumstances are what have driven the donkeys into civilian areas, sometimes pushing down fences and entering motorways in an attempt to find water and sustenance. This is obviously a bad situation for these animals, and they need to be given the space and resources they need to survive.

These donkeys are beautiful animals and they deserve to be given their own sanctuary in which to live. By providing this safe place for these donkeys, your department would be both preserving Hawaii’s history and increasing the safety of these animals and local civilians. Please protect the Waikoloa donkeys by establishing a local sanctuary for them to live and thrive.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit:  Lilly M

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