You can frolic with bunnies, deer, pigs and more.
Whether you’re a bird nerd or a crazy cat person, there’s a destination with a high concentration of your favorite animal beckoning you to visit. Maybe your newest bucket list addition will be the Instagram-perfect island in Aruba teeming with friendly flamingos making you mourn the passing of Millennial Pink. Perhaps it’ll be the wild horses off the coast of Maryland, compelling you to play the Rolling Stones on repeat.
Whatever animal is your favorite, it’s important to understand the ethics of visiting different populations, and to research ways to do it responsibly. Sure, a penguin selfie might boost your clout on Instagram, but when tourists start to value the photo more than the actual experience, we have a problem. Before you request your days off to see Japan’s island cats up close, be sure to look into the rules about feeding and playing with the animals, and, equally important, ways you can give back so they can continue living their best lives.
There’s no shame in feeling giddy at the very thought of being bombarded by bunnies — it’s just best to supplement that joy with a knowledge of the animals’ behavior and how you can be the perfect guest when you do visit. The relationship between humans and animals is no doubt a delicate one, but you’ll be happiest when you know you’re on the right side of history. Go out there and see the animals of your dreams — just be a good person while doing it.
Here, 10 islands around the world that are home to some of the most adorable animals imaginable. We bet you won’t be able to help but squeal with excitement.