Equus Asinus, the donkey, originates from South Africa and the Mediterranean and can be distinguished by the stripe it has running from the ears to the tail, crossing at the shoulders.
The donkey, brought here by Spaniards 500 years ago, had played an important role in the Aruban economy since the beginning of the Aruban history. It was mainly used to transport goods and persons.
At the beginning of the 20th century, some 1,400 donkeys were counted. However, with the introduction of the car to the island, the donkey was not needed anymore. More and more donkeys were released and set free. They can sustain themselves very well. It's a fact that they don't need much to survive, as they are strong and tough by nature.
Early 1970 only 20 donkeys were counted. A severe disease made many victims among the stray animals.
Besides falling prey to the above-mentioned disease, they were also fed to the tigers of the circus that visited Aruba. As if this was not enough, the government also ordered many of them shot.
Photo of Mary Murray Byington and Edward Byington who worked for the Lago Refinery. They met and courted in Aruba (the photo is of one of their dates) and were married on Aruba in 1942, remaining until 1965. Those "wild" donkeys were allowing themselves to be put between two humans and photographed.