Do you have a soft heart for wildlife and possible primates? You’ve always been intrigued by Thai culture? And you want to help make a difference while discovering another country? Then, this is the placement for you!
The project protects gibbons and other local species that have been victims of abuse, or have been in contact with humans and been disposed of or injured and can no longer return to their natural habitats.
Gibbons are a small type of apes that live in the Southeast Asian tropical forests. They are one of the most threatened primates. Not only do they see their habitats disappearing due to deforestation, but they also get captured as babies to be sold as pets, killed to be used in traditional medicine practices, or used as tourist attractions. Poachers often shoot the parents so the small ones are forced to come down the trees, where they are captured.
Like any wild animals, once gibbons have been in contact with humans, they cannot survive on their own in their natural habitats.
At the sanctuary, you will be exposed to a variety of gibbons species. However, because of its nature, the owners of the sanctuary have also accepted other species over the years such as macaque monkeys, jackals, a bear and even a bearcat! So you might get the chance to get acquainted with other species while on your placement!
Why choose this project?
During your placement, you will be volunteering at a local sanctuary principally involved in rescuing Gibbons and providing them with a safe and comfortable environment as they cannot be returned to nature as they would be in extreme danger if returned. Given they will be spending the rest of their lives at the sanctuary, it’s important to make the gibbons comfortable with human interactions and help them regain the trust they have lost while being mistreated or injured. This volunteer experience will give you invaluable practical experience in working with animals that you wouldn’t otherwise have the chance to interact with. Gibbons are surely charming and fascinating creatures to be around!
Role of the Volunteer
As a volunteer, you will provide the local staff with an extra hand. You will be preparing food, cleaning and tidying enclosures, as well as socialising with the gibbons. Food preparation is done twice a day in the morning and the afternoon. You will assist in preparing, distributing and feeding of the gibbons. Throughout the day, volunteers are asked to help with the cleaning of the enclosure. It’s not a pleasant job, but someone has to do it! For safety reasons, you will not be allowed inside the cage. That said the tidying is done only underneath the cages. Socialising with the gibbons may sound like a straightforward job, but the value of it cannot be underestimated. Many of these gibbons have developed a fear of humans due to bad and negligent treatment. Making them comfortable around humans is crucial through activities such as “fluffing”, imitating their calling “OoooooOOO”, and holding their hands.
Those volunteers with the proper background may also be able to assist with medical treatment of the gibbons when necessary.
A compassionate attitude towards animals is of course required for this project as well as a can-do attitude! Rabies vaccinations are strongly advised for this project.
WHY JOIN THE PROJECT
Help protect a species from being in danger
Learn how a sanctuary is run
Discover Thai Culture
About the Location
The gibbon conservation project works within the natural habitat of the gibbon, which means that this is a very rural site based in the jungle of West-Central Thailand, close to the Myanmar border. Here in the jungle you will be able to enjoy the peaceful surroundings surrounded by forests and mountain landscapes. You will arrive into Bangkok initially, where our team will meet you and arrange your orientation and give you time to rest before they arrange your transfer.
You will be sharing your room with one other volunteer, staying in a wooden house that meets typical western standards. Your wake up alarm will most likely be the gibbons who wakes up between 5 and 6 am with a loud call ready for their breakfast!
What to do in your spare time
This is the perfect location for those who enjoy trekking! The closest town of Mae Sot is about 50 minutes drive and shares its border with Myanmar. Otherwise, there are books in English available as well as a TV room with a varied selection of DVDs which you can enjoy during your spare time.
Details & Costs
- Duration: 1+ weeks
- Cost: Starting at £808/ £1414 for 1 week.
Additional week cost is £418 / $732
- Requirements: age 18+
- Location: Outside Mae Sot, Thailand
- Project activities: food preparation, cleaning and tidying enclosures, socialisation exercises with the gibbons.
- Working hours: 6.30 – 15.30
- Project availability: All year round
- Arrival day: Saturday all day or Sunday before noon
What is included
- Accommodation: Shared accommodation in a house with 1 other volunteer.
- Food: 3 meals per day
- Scheduled airport pick up from Bangkok International Airport (BKK)
- Training: Pre-departure information pack, learning reflection guide, on-site orientation, cultural tour and project induction provided
- Support: 24-hour support from on-site coordinator
- Assistance with planning your weekend excursions from local staff
- Fundraising Guide
What is not included
Easy 3-step application process
APPLY ONLINE Click here to apply online and pay your deposit to secure your space on your chosen project. Our advisors will then contact you to guide you through the next steps.
TELEPHONE INTERVIEW Once we’ve received your application, we’ll be in touch to arrange your informal telephone interview with your Kaya Placement Advisor.
GET PREPARED When you’ve been accepted onto your project we’ll send you your Welcome Pack and lots of other helpful information to assist you with preparing for your placement.
HAVE A QUESTION?
We pride ourselves on providing you high quality placement information throughout your application process and whilst on the ground. Connect with us if you have any questions.
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