Wild animals in Thailand are experiencing pressures from many sources – loss of habitat, hunting, the illegal pet trade, use of animals by the entertainment industry, and cruelty and abuse by people. In an attempt to help native wildlife this organization runs several projects including hands-on wildlife rescue, wildlife rehabilitation, community education and research. Built on temple land, the centre provides the animals with a huge plot of forest to shelter in during their rehabilitation, or for some to live in for the rest of their lives. At the centre you can find many species of macaques, gibbons, civets, loris, small and big cats (leopards and tigers), bears, crocodiles and birds. The animals receive specialized care as they are nursed back to health with the goal always being to release them back into the wild if possible. Animals that cannot be reintroduced to the wild can spend the rest of their lives in this sanctuary, enjoying conditions that are as close to their natural environment as possible.With the support of dedicated volunteers, the wildlife rescue centre has cared for thousands of wild animals over the years and raised awareness of the plight of these animals in Thailand.
Volunteers provide care for all the animals at the centre. This includes cleaning cages and enclosures, preparing food and feeding the animals, providing enrichment and maintaining the facility. Volunteers are divided to work in the different areas based on species; Bears, Macaques, Gibbons, Mammals, Birds or Reptiles. Regardless of area assigned, the day will feature similar activities. Volunteers help prepare food and learn about the diets for the various species. They help feed the animals throughout the morning, and clean the enclosures at the same time. There are lots of enrichment techniques that volunteers learn about and provide to the animals.
Work can be quite hot and some things are challenging – like cleaning the bear enclosures which are large. But before long you will be an expert, and will be sharing your knowledge with the newly arrived volunteers.
The morning starts early to avoid the heat of the day. Shifts are from 6:00 am – 4:00 pm with time off for breakfast, lunch and water breaks. Volunteers have one day off per week.
Volunteers never work alone and are always under the guidance of other staff or volunteers. Volunteers do not come in direct contact with the wildlife.
Volunteers stay right on site in cabins, and you will share your cabin with 1 – 3 other people. All cabins are the same gender, unless there is a special request. There are western bathrooms and showers (with cool water – refreshing!) for volunteers to use and laundry services are available for a small fee. All meals are included. Food is provided for you to make your own breakfast (toast and tea), while Thai food is served in big lunches and dinners.
There is no internet access at the Rescue Centre, however there are internet cafes in the nearby town.
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Airport pick up and drop off (at the closest airport), accommodation, meals, on-site training, donation to Placement Partner, AEI Travel Manual, emergency support while at placement, carbon credits to offset 3 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions, premium Individual Travel Insurance (up to $500, 000 USD in emergency medical coverage), travel discounts (through automatic membership to a volunteer only travel discount program), 24/7 travel and emergency assistance, enrolment with the Global Travel Academy to earn a certificate in International Volunteering. This 3-hour online course is curated by travel professionals and is designed to help you get the most out of your adventure.
Flights, entry visa costs, international and domestic airport taxes, immunizations and medications.Flights, Entry visa costs, International and domestic airport taxes, Immunizations and medications.
What is Serious
The major goals of our partner are to campaign against all forms of animal abuse and exploitation in Thailand, work towards ending the illegal pet trade and discourage people from keeping all wild animals as pets. The wildlife rescue centre actively seeks to combat the illegal wildlife trade and to rescue animals from poor conditions or exploitation from human entertainment. There is also a large focus on public education, encouraging local people, tourists and the international community to appreciate, understand and protect wildlife and their natural habitats. By volunteering at the wildlife rescue centre, you will be supporting these important initiatives as well as getting hands-on experience working with a number of species.
The rescue centre cares for six species of gibbon, five species of macaque, lorises, two species of langur, two species of bear, small wild cats, various civet species, reptiles, otters, birds and many more. All the animals you will see around the center have been rescued from poor living conditions, saved from the illegal wildlife trade, the pet industry, the tourism and entertainment industry, or directly from the wild, where they may have been victims of road traffic accidents, dog attacks or other human caused accidents. The work can be challenging - it can be difficult to see how the animals have suffered - but in the end it is tremendously rewarding to be part of the solution. The animals at the centre are released back into the wild or can live the rest of their lives in a safe environment, as close to nature as possible, and are provided the best care possible with the help of volunteers like you.
What is Fun
The wildlife rescue centre is the perfect place to volunteer with wildlife in a friendly, team oriented environment. The rescue centre is always host to a group of international volunteers who help provide care for rescued wildlife throughout the year. Volunteers work side-by side each day and relax together when the volunteer duties are finished. You can hang-out in the common areas, read, use the pool table or swim in the nearby lake and river. In the evenings, volunteers often walk together to the nearby town to shop at the markets, buy a cold drink or visit the internet café. Volunteers can also travel to the town of Cha-am which is a bit further away by taxi, or visit a nearby resort to use the pool, eat at the hotel restaurant or enjoy their spa services.
There are day trips arranged for volunteers to visit national parks where you can see animals in the wild and enjoy the beautiful scenery and waterfalls. These tours are an additional cost, but the fees are quite reasonable for volunteers.
You will learn so much about the wide variety of rescued wildlife, and make friends with the people dedicated to their care. By the time you are finished volunteering, you will have seen amazing wildlife species, formed lasting friendships and experienced Thailand first hand by exploring the area around the rescue centre. Your time at the rescue centre will also make you an ambassador for the wild animals, as you spread the centre’s message about the animals’ plight and how we can help them.
Dates and Details
This is an ongoing program with operations year round. There are no specific start or end dates, however volunteers are asked to arrive on a Sunday.
The Wildlife Rescue Centre is located on the same grounds as the Elephant Sanctuary. Some volunteers choose to divide their time between both volunteer opportunities.
Are you thinking of fundraising for a portion, or all your fees? Many of our clients have been very successful with their fundraising efforts. To learn more about their successful fundraising projects and see how you can fund raise for your experience, please visit our fundraising page!