When you come to Saint John and you go back home and tell stories about all of the wildlife you saw around the island, your friends and family will hardly believe you. “No, I swear” will be your response as you pull out the pictures.
Get prepared to experience a carnival ride of island wildlife and critters roaming fanciful and free in most cases all around the island. The wildlife provide those unique experiences in life that you just don’t find in the states as you wait in your vehicle for a pack of all different size colorful goats to cross the road in Coral Bay… shaking your head in disbelief. And please be patient and mindful as this is their island and we should respect the island culture to allow free roaming animals to live off the land as they see fit. Most importantly, just know that around any corner on any road on Saint John could be an animal, so please keep your eyes on the road at every moment.
Please do not feed the wildlife as you only encourage them to enter dangerous situations on the roads, and their digestive systems are not meant to eat people food. Sometimes a donkey will allow you to give it a little pet, but most islanders discourage interaction as they are wild and their behavior is unpredictable. Found in many locations, Hermit Crabs are super cool and kids love to hold and look at them, but please do not take them home with you as a pet or remove them from their natural habitat.
The Virgin Islands National Park has published the below BIRDS OF ST. JOHN, USVI CHECKLIST — PHOTO COMPANION GUIDE. This is a phenomenal resource sharing the diversity of birds native and migratory to St. John.
While visiting you may experience many different types of free roaming wildlife such as:
Donkeys have been running free on Saint John since the plantation days and were used regularly until the 1970’s for hauling water, wood and charcoal, and for taking local children to school. The Carolina Corral began with two native donkeys out of the wild in 1993, Pepe and Juanita. Since then, the Carolina Corral has had many new additions including many sick and injured animals. All of the horses and most of the other residents of the Corral are either rescues or were no longer wanted by their owners. The Carolina Corral provides these animals with a good home where they have an opportunity to contribute toward their own care. From Abigail, the goat, who’s job is to look cute, to the Chihuahua mix, Pippin’, nursemaid to all the sick or injured animals who also can’t stand to see the roosters fight. Come learn their names and take home a memory of these special animals. Please consider donating to help Dana Bartlett provide an invaluable service to our furry friends on Saint John.