Islands Ideal For Animal Lovers

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ISLANDS AROUND THE WORLD IDEAL FOR ANIMAL LOVERS

 

Close your eyes and picture your dream holiday. Crystal-clear water lapping at your toes, perfect golden sand stretching into the distance, a fresh cocktail in your hand - and piglets! 



While four-legged friends might not feature in every holidaymaker’s idea of the ultimate getaway, some of us just can’t get enough of the animal kingdom. If you’re a true animal lover, getting face to face with the world’s cutest critters is an amazing perk of travelling.

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As luck would have it, our beautiful planet is home to some really, really cute animals - and some of their natural habitats just so happen to be in postcard perfect holiday destinations. To help you take a walk on the wild side, we’ve explored islands across the globe where you can play with piglets, cuddle with cats and even frolic with wallabies. 

Keep reading to discover unforgettable holidays for animal lovers...

 

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ISLANDS TEEMING WITH REALLY CUTE ANIMALS

Islands are unique natural habitats. Cut off from the mainland, these standalone locations often develop their own extraordinary ecosystems. In some places, this special quality allows certain animal populations to thrive, making them the perfect spots for wildlife holidays - it’s also the reason why islands are home to 30% of the world’s biodiversity hotspots.


On certain islands, animal populations have evolved and grown naturally over time. In other places, a new animal has been introduced into the ecosystem and thrived. The isolation of an island habitat can have very interesting effects upon animal populations. Island gigantism can result in species evolving to be much larger than their mainland counterparts, while island dwarfism can make the dwellers teeny tiny!

But size isn’t everything. Islands are home to many unusual, weird and wonderful creatures that can’t be found anywhere else in the world. The island of Luzon in the Philippines, for example, boasts the greatest concentration of unique mammals in the world, including the long-whiskered tree mouse and the golden-crowned flying fox.

 

 

THESE ISLANDS MAKE GREAT HOLIDAYS FOR ANIMAL LOVERS 

Ready to explore some of the planet’s most amazing animal islands? Whether you want to visit somewhere closer to home or you’re browsing long haul holidays, these animal hideaways will put you face to face with some very cute creatures.


BIG MAJOR CAY

Pigs might not be the first animals that spring to mind when you picture a tropical island full of adorable four-legged friends, but Big Major Cay is a very popular destination for lovers of sand, surf and really cute piglets.



Located in the Bahamas, this tiny island is part of the Exuma region and is the home of dozens of beach-dwelling pigs. Also known as Pig Island, visitors to this slice of piggy paradise can enjoy the charming sight of feral pigs swimming in the sea and trotting along the beach. 

How the pigs came to live on Big Major Cay is something of a mystery. Some stories say that they were left on shore by passing sailors who intended to return to the island to eat them. Luckily they never got the chance! Now these pigs are firm tourist favourites, and often enjoy being fed by visiting animal-lovers.

If you’re daydreaming about holidays to the Bahamas, this little animal haven is not to be missed. The island lies 50km from Georgetown, the capital of Exuma, and the closest airport to Pig Beach is Staniel Cay. Tour operators run trips that include a visit to the beach from both of these locations. Both journeys will include a considerable amount of sailing, so be prepared for a long day at sea and be aware: boat trips are dependant on good weather.

 

 

TONAWANDA ISLAND

Are you a cat person or a dog person? If you're a lover of all things feline, Tonawanda Island could be the unexpected island destination for you. Located in the middle of the Niagara River in New York state, this unusual location might not be the tropical island of your daydreams, but it is home to thousands of cats. 


The cats of Tonawanda Island are seen as a nuisance by some locals but other cat lovers in the area have pledged to look after the furry inhabitants. The cats are fed regularly, and some charitable locals have even undertaken an initiative named Operation Island Cats to neuter and vaccinate the animals.


If you’re interested in New York holidays with a twist, a trip to Tonawanda Island could be just purrfect! Visiting the area will also give you the opportunity to check out some lesser known parts of New York state - and only six hours away is the metropolitan bustle of New York City. 


Tonawanda Island is located just 20 minutes from Niagara Falls, so you can combine your visit with a trip to the world famous waterfall. The closest city is Buffalo, a 20-minute drive south, where travellers will find a wealth of art, culture and entertainment including the Buffalo Museum of Science and the Albright-Knox Art Gallery. 

 

 

LAMBAY ISLAND

If holidays to Ireland are on your bucket list, Lambay Island could be the wildlife destination for you. Located in the Irish Sea on the northern coast of County Dublin, the name of this destination comes from Old Norse and means Lamb Island - but it isn’t sheep that populate this corner of the Emerald Isle. Instead, Lambay Island is home to some rather unexpected creatures.


You might not think you’d find wallabies outside of a zoo in the Northern Hemisphere, yet on Lambay Island these hopping creatures abound. The Irish red-necked wallabies were first brought to the island in the 1950s by its owner, Rupert Baring, who hand-reared the first joeys (baby wallabies) himself. In the 1980s, Lambay Island’s wallaby population was given a boost when Dublin Zoo sent some of their extra wallabies to live there. In 2017, it was estimated that around 100 wallabies now call the island home.

In addition to these unusual inhabitants, visitors to Lambay Island can see lots of other really cute animals, including seal pups, deer, kittiwakes and guillemots. Visiting Lambay Island is easy from the Irish capital, and Malahide Marina is a mere 15-minute drive from Dublin International Airport. From the marina, visitors can take a 15- to 30-minute boat trip to the island itself. Although only a handful of people live on Lambay, visitors can find accommodation here, along with a sixteenth-century castle, gardens and a restaurant. 

 

 

EVEN MORE ANIMAL ISLANDS

Haven’t found your perfect animal island yet? There are plenty more to visit including Ōkunoshima (Japan’s rabbit island), Kauai (Hawaii’s chicken island) and Runde Island in Norway which is home to hundreds of really cute puffins.

 

Find even more amazing holidays for animal lovers with help from our team at Teletext Holidays, from Nile cruises in Egypt to scuba dives in the Dominican Republic. Uncover your ultimate destination on our website.

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