There are Animals in Hawaii

Flowers aren’t the only exotic beings in Hawaii: the animals are bountiful and intriguing.

For example, I saw a donkey. I wouldn’t consider a donkey exotic or indigenous to Hawaii, but there it was; complete with a Donkey-crossing-sign. And the only reason I knew it was a donkey was because it looked like Eeeyore (from Winne the Pooh).

How did donkeys come to be here? The same way cattle and horses and deer and … did: they were brought via boat by explorers and settlers. And then without a predator, they exponentiated. The donkeys were used for transportation and load-bearing until the U.S. military abandoned gobs of jeeps. The jeep is only slightly less stubborn.

Donkeys in Hawaii

Notice the road sign: The donkey is braying!
Photos courtesy of Flickr.

On the Big Island, coqui frogs serenade/annoy all. night. long. They hitched a ride in a crate from Puerto Rico–or their eggs did–and now they’re everywhere, and very vocal about it. As is the theme: no predator.

What’s that weasel-looking thing that scampers across the road? How do I know that it looks like a weasel? When in my life have a I seen a weasel to use that as a point of reference? Well, it’s a mongoose; thank you Google for deciphering “Hawaii weasel” and telling me that. Rikki Tikki Tavi, anyone?

Mongoose in Hawaii

What I assume is a wild boar came face-to-fender. Rest assured, no harm was done to the animals in the pursuit of a photo. It was terrified; I was delighted and couldn’t get the camera out quick enough. It retreated; I did not. A wild boar? Come on. Next you’ll tell me I need to wear a grass skirt and pray to the gods for the volcano not to erupt. Oh wait…

Wild boar in Hawaii

Photo courtesy of Flickr

There’s a peacock in the food court (Dear Liza, Dear Liza). Of course there is. Where else would it be?

Peacock in Hawaii

Frantic photos means poor quality. Sorry.

Ahh, doves. Romantic, the birds of peace and weddings. Well in Hawaii, they’re akin to pigeons. In fact, they are kin to pigeons. Restaurant staff squirt them with water just like the grey kind to keep them off of the patio. Doves, people. Doves are so abundant in Hawaii that they’re considered nuisances.

Doves in Hawaii

Can you see a difference? Me neither.
Photos courtesy of

You’re driving through a macadamia grove, on the way to your inn by the waterfall, when you see beekeepers. How does one absorb all of this magnificence?

Beekeepers in Hawaii

While on a stop with a tour group during the drive to the Road to Hana I’m returning to the bus when I notice a couple of duuuudes carrying freshly caught chameleons. Forget the bus; this I’ve got to see. I make a beeline and  insert myself into their chameleon celebration. The darker lizard is blending with duuuuude one’s bracelet. Notice the curled tail. I asked to touch the horns (of the chameleon, to be clear), and they weren’t as rigid as expected.

Duuuuuuude two insisted that I hold the creature. It and I both knew this wasn’t a good idea, and it immediately started climbing my arm–ACROSS MY NECK–and down the other arm, trying to get away from this shaking and screaming host. Duuuuuude three took pictures with my camera, which was still around my neck. See my utter calm in this situation; and the chameleon clinging to the camera lens instead of me. Can you blame it?

chameleon in Hawaii

The chance to hold a seahorse? I am so there! As it turns out, a lot of money for not enough holding. $50 and less than a minute–streetwalkers give a better deal than that. The seahorses are bred for aquariums so folks won’t take them from the wild. They’re sent in pairs; because they die when solo–they mate for life. The female creates the eggs and deposits them into a pouch on the male: hello egalitarianism. The babies are called fry–notice the picture with the person’s finger next to it–that’s true scale.

Seahorses in Hawaii

50-50 photos from me and from Flickr

Holding a seahorse

On Maui, there are 115,000 people and 66,000 deer. Yet I only saw one deer. Seventeen hunters have been hired by the state to start killing them off. No predator on the island and they just reproduce.

Wild turkeys. Didn’t expect that. At first I thought they were the NeNe, which is an endangered species and signs plead to drive slowly and not feed them.

Wild Turkeys in Hawaii

Photos courtesy of Flickr

Nene in Hawaii

Nene: Hawaiian Goose
Photos courtesy of Flickr

I became a bit obsessed with roosters and hens. They’re wild–legend says freed from their coops during a 1991 hurricane. Their colors and patterns were too gorgeous not to chase them across the parking lot or field. Click the pic to advance the slideshow.

Photos are 50-50 from me and from Flickr.

These are the land-dwelling creatures. Stay tuned for the underwater world discovered during snorkeling. Oh My!


What’s your favorite animal seen in the wild?


8 Responses


I love frogs and their singing! But I don’t like when species are introduced where they shouldn’t be – that’s not good.

Also loved the pictures (esp your expression) from the chameleon adventure. 🙂 Duuuuuude!

Debbie – amen to the wrongs of introducing species where they don;t belong. it bothered me immensely about Hawaii – douglas firs next to cacti; neither of which belong there.

These photos and adventures are so much fun!! Thank you for posting. And yes the shots of you with the chameleons were the best.

Those wild horses on Cumberland Island were fantastic. I was in awe. Made sure to give them the space they deserved – much respect. Especially since they allowed us to take some great photos.

Regina – you give everyone space and respect–not just wild horses!


Your Comments
hey duuuuude, FABULOUS photos!! Hope you had a good Thanksgiving!
Safe travels…

Grammy11/Margie – so glad you get the duuuuude reference. I must confess it was fun writing. 🙂

When I went on a cross island tour of the Big Island, the guide told us that the coquis are their coqui-ing is driving the locals insane. Are there snakes in Hawaii? I loved hiking in New Zealand—-no snakes and no bears.
Just One Boomer (Suzanne) recently posted..Turkeytopia for a Philly PhridayMy Profile

Suzanne – I don;t know if there are snakes in Hawaii. No one said anyting about them. Good question.

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