Dogs Versus Horses on Easter Island

Easter Island may be known for its legendary Moai statues which dot the island; but dogs and horses freely roam around the island — and they do not always get along with each other.

Dogs Versus Horses on Easter Island

As the wild horses mind their own business and will typically ignore humans, having your own temporary dog as a companion on Easter Island is not a matter of if; but when. I had a pack of as many as four dogs accompany me as I walked by them.

The dogs may just be hanging around only in the hopes of scoring that ultimate jackpot of a tasty snack; or they perhaps simply enjoy the companionship. They may also urinate on one of the tires of your vehicle — ahem. I can tell you, though — they did not touch me or get in my way; and they were not annoying in the least. These dogs can stay with you as long as you allow them the opportunity.

They will protect their adopted humans from such scourges as the wild horses which freely roam the island — although I am not sure what the dogs have against these horses.

Easter Island dogs horses

Photograph ©2019 by Brian Cohen.

I was walking down this road towards the Pacific Ocean when three dogs decided to join me after following the man in the red jacket who was riding a horse, as shown on the right in the photograph above.

Easter Island dogs horses

Photograph ©2019 by Brian Cohen.

This dog turns around and looks at the other two — as if asking them, Hey! What’s going on? Aren’t you gonna join me?

Easter Island dogs horses

Photograph ©2019 by Brian Cohen.

One of the dogs stops, sees the team of horses, and scopes out the situation.

Easter Island dogs horses

Photograph ©2019 by Brian Cohen.

The two dogs appear to have an impromptu conference…

Easter Island dogs horses

Photograph ©2019 by Brian Cohen.

…as the docile horses go about their business.

Easter Island dogs horses

Photograph ©2019 by Brian Cohen.

The dogs suddenly lunge at the horses, barking loudly — as if to attack them.

Easter Island dogs horses

Photograph ©2019 by Brian Cohen.

The horses initially try to ignore the dogs and stay away from them — but the dogs are relentless. The horses eventually fight back by lowering their heads to the dogs in a threatening manner and by attempting to kick them.

Easter Island dogs horses

Photograph ©2019 by Brian Cohen.

This short video captures part of the action:

Summary

Experiencing the dogs and horses is apparently part of what being on Easter Island is all about — but if you are wondering about the rest of Easter Island, I have a series of articles in mind which should hopefully be helpful to you should you decide to visit for yourself.

In the meantime, I wonder if the wild horses ever have meetings where one horse introduces himself as the head horse before introducing the second head horse and then bow their heads in prayer afterwards prior to discussing on the agenda what to do about these dogs and voting on it in a Gallop poll…

All photographs and video ©2019 by Brian Cohen.

9 thoughts on “Dogs Versus Horses on Easter Island”

  1. CJ says:

    Looking foreword to your series on Easter Island, as its on my places to visit list.

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      Please let me know what you want to specifically know about Easter Island, CJ.

      That will give me an idea of how to prioritize the articles…

  2. Lee says:

    Hey Brian, heading there in early September. Would you recommend booking rental car now or wait until we get there? How much is it per day? Which company you use? Is it manual only? Sorry for many questions.

    Also the national park fee, do we pay for it at the airport?

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      Ask all of the questions you want, Lee. I plan on writing articles to answer them anyway.

      When I arrived at Easter Island, I found that there are plenty of places to rent a car: in the town of Hanga Roa itself; and from the owners of the lodging options there. I decided to rent a car via the Internet prior to my arrival at Oceanic Rent a Car, which is located in the heart of Hanga Roa. The cost was 50,000.00 Chilean pesos per day — which is approximately equivalent to $73.55 in United States dollars per day — for a Suzuki Jimny. I used my credit card which includes insurance for rental cars as a benefit. The vehicle is indeed manual transmission.

      The person who owned the bungalow in which I stayed offered to rent to me his vehicle for 40,000.00 Chilean pesos per day. That is less expensive, but then you are not insured in case of an accident — plus, I am not thrilled about renting someone’s personal vehicle. The chances of getting into an accident are low primarily because there is not much real estate to the island, the speed limits are low, and the roads are not the best — but it can still happen. The vehicle I rented had so many dings, tears and other anomalies on it that it was easier to record what was not damaged.

      As for the national park fee: yes, you can pay for it at the airport; but I forgot to stop by and do so before I was picked up and driven to the bungalow. However, that was not a problem, as there is a place in Hanga Roa where you can stop and pay the national park fee there during normal business hours. Very easy. You can likely even walk to Hanga Roa from just about any lodging option you choose…

      …and it was because of that that I decided to skip renting a car for the first day and just walk to some of the places on my list which I wanted to visit. I saved myself $73.55 while simultaneously getting my exercise from walking.

      If you have any other questions, Lee, please let me know.

      1. Lee says:

        Thank you, Brian. What credit card did you use for the insurance purpose? I am thinking of using my CSR. Thank you so much for detailed information.

    2. Simon says:

      There is stand/booth right at the entrance to the ‘terminal’ as you get off the plane for the park fee. You most well get it if you checked bags as you’ll have to wait for them to pull the carts over.

      Majority of cars are manual. Automatics are available, but few. If you cannot drive stick, definitely not chance it and book it advance. If you’re not picky, can drive stick, and willing to maybe not have it be available all your days, you could haggle a little off. I am not a planner and got a semi-auto (no clutch) ATV on the spot and more easily available. There are many things within walking distance of town, so you only really need to rent for some days you go further into the park.

  3. Simon says:

    Given this was right by the edge of Hanga Roa I’m guessing these dogs are used to keeping horses or cows out of the property (crops/gardens) of the nearby properties.

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      That is indeed a possibility, Simon — but I am not definitively certain.

      1. Simon says:

        I stayed in that part of town on someone’s property who had a dog that roamed freely. A couple horses certainly wandered close by the properties near the two Moai features further down towards town as they grazed. Many properties in my experience seemed to have similar cases.

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