The donkeys on St. John were imported in the 16th century to work on the sugar plantations. The slaves were freed and the plantations went out of business then another few centuries later the first cars showed up on St. John and the donkey were let go free. And they still roam around on St. John. You almost will almost certainly see donkey when you take the road from Cruz Bay to Coral Bay (Route 10), usually just before Coral Bay. Most of the time they are in small groups of 3-5.
Some say that the reason we still drive on the left on St. John even after it became US territory is that the donkeys were so stubborn being used to walking on the left…
You will also see them at Caneel Bay, Cinnamon. Maho or Hawksnest. Keep your food packed away, ideally in a cool box! The below donkeys were at Hawksnest. We thought the food was safe in the backback with the zips closed but they actually chewed the side open!
Don’t mess with the Donkeys on St. John
Donkeys can be friendly but not always, if harassed they can kick so best to stay clear and give them the road if you encounter one at the beach or along your travels.