Pets of the Dominican RepublicCarleen Coulter
My husband and I traveled to the Dominican Republic over the Christmas holiday. During the trip, we took a tour of the countryside with Outback Adventures, which I highly recommend if you ever travel there. As part of that tour, we visited ranch and home areas where we got to see some of the common animals kept in the country. I took a fair amount of photos and thought I would share the animals that we saw on our tour.
Most of the animals we saw were not really pets in the same sense that you and I keep pets. Some were part of the display for the tourists of animals commonly used as work animals or livestock in the country. Others were dogs and cats that clearly were being taken care of by the residents, but in many cases, domestic cats and dogs also just live as friendly strays in the country. If you are a pet lover, it can pull at the heartstrings a bit to see stray dogs and cats wandering the beaches. However, many of the ones that I came across were faring pretty well for themselves.
Here are eight photos I took on my trip of animals commonly seen or kept in the Dominican Republic.
A Look at Eight Dominican Animals 1 of 9
I came across these eight animal during my vacation in the Dominican Republic.
Dominican Cats 2 of 9
Cats abound in the Dominican Republic. This one, seen at the tourist ranch that we visited, was clearly well cared for. He was also very friendly. I spoke to him for awhile and gave him a good amount of petting. We later visited a home that also had a cat lounging around. At my resort, strays were often seen. Those were thinner but still looked quite healthy. They were often seeking scraps from the tourists.
Rhinoceros Iguana 3 of 9
I took this photo from a distance and thought there were two iguanas in it. So, imagine my surprise to enlarge it and find four! The Rhinoceros Iguana is native to Hispanola, the island that the Dominican Republic shares with Haiti, and is a protected species. It is normally a wild animal in the section of the Dominican Republic that we were visiting, but these were kept as pets on display by the ranch that we visited. Learn more at The Big Zoo.
Roosters and Chickens 4 of 9
Chickens are seen all over in the Dominican countryside. They are a common food item, and we saw them in abundance at the ranch and home that we visited. We also ate some incredible fried chicken while on our tour. While eating lunch, one of the chickens flew up onto the salad buffet and started helping herself to lunch! The guides shooed her away. I later found this Dominican Fried Chicken recipe which I am definitely going to try.
Brahma Bull 5 of 9
Brahman cattle first originated in India and later made their way to the Americas. They are large, sturdy animals, that have a high heat tolerance. There was also a beer in the Dominican Republic called Brahma, which we drank on our tour.
Dominican Dogs 6 of 9
We saw stray dogs everywhere we went in the Dominican Republic. The ranch and home that we visited had several well cared for ones lounging around and seeking belly rubs from the tourists. I took the photo of this dog at a beach we visited during the tour. A bit later a beach vendor came along, and the dog clearly knew him. The dog ran up, and the vendor did a few training tricks with him (mostly sit), then gave him some food. So, even though the dog was a stray, he clearly had people looking out for him. This particular beach had quite a few friendly stray dogs on it working the visitors for food.
Donkeys 7 of 9
Donkeys are kept as work animals in the Dominican Republic. They are sturdy and easy to keep. The ranch that we visited had several friendly ones for us to visit with. Interestingly, the Turks and Caicos have donated wild donkeys to Dominican Republic in order to control their own populations of them.
DR Crocodiles 8 of 9
Crocodiles are menacing creatures, and the Dominican Republic has one of the largest populations n the world. We saw this one kept in captivity at the ranch that we visited. I wouldn't want to meet up with one in the wild! Learn more at TheRealDR.com.
Peacocks 9 of 9
Peacocks were kept as pets at the tourist ranch that we visited. These bright colored birds are attractive and make good ornamental pets. However, they don't always get along will with other domestic birds. Learn more at National Geographic.
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