This project aims to rescue gibbons that have been injured or abused. The shelter where you will be volunteering is designed to provide a secure and comfortable habitat for these animals.
Gibbons in this shelter stay there for the duration of their lives, as they would be at extreme risk if returned to the wild. In other words, the project does not release any of the gibbons back into the wild - as many of the gibbons have missing limbs or injuries that mean they would simply not survive in the wild. Therefore, it's of high importance to make the gibbons comfortable with human interaction and to establish mutual trust between the two species.
What's not Included
Thailand's diverse landscapes, including mountains, rivers, plateaus, valleys, and beaches, are an excellent place to start when exploring this country. And for a little more action, Thailand's capital and largest city, Bangkok, is known for a vibrant night life and various tourist attractions.
This project takes place near Mae Sot, next to the Burma (Myanmar) border, about 500 km north of Bangkok. The town has a mixture of Thai, Burmese, and Chinese natives, giving it a distinct energy and attitude.
Please note: This is a remote project location and the site can only be reached via an overnight bus ride (included).
One of the most important goals for volunteers in the project is to provide the gibbons in the shelter with the care they deserve. The main activities will be to prepare food for the gibbons, clean and tidy up their enclosures, groom them, and perhaps most importantly - to “socialize” with them.
Volunteers will be assigned various tasks and responsibilities at the gibbons shelter:
Food preparation: Volunteers prepare food for the gibbons twice a day at 9 a.m. and 2 p.m.. The food is prepared for each gibbon according to their individual nutritional requirements. Volunteers also assist in the actual feeding of the gibbons.
Cleaning enclosures: It’s a part of any wildlife shelter project. The cleaning and organizing of enclosures has to be done daily. For safety reasons, the gibbons are taken out during the cleaning.
Socializing: Many of these gibbons are scared of humans because of previous experiences. Your goal will be to make them comfortable around humans through activities such as grooming their hair. This may sound like an insignificant task, but its benefits cannot be under-estimated.
You will start your project by participating in a cultural orientation week (see details below). Following the orientation, this will be your project's timeline:
Monday: On your first day at the project, you will join an introduction/orientation. This will help you understand your role in the project.
Tuesday to Friday: During these days you will be participating fully at the project. Your daily duties will include cleaning the enclosures and preparing food for the gibbons. Volunteers may also assist with medical procedures, as and when they occur. At the end of your project, you will be presented with a project completion certificate.
Please take note of the project's minimum requirements:
- Good level of English
- Motivation to work with wildlife
- Able to work in hot and humid climate
- Rabies vaccine is highly recommended
Travel Extras (Not Included):
You can extend your stay with one or more great program add-ons for an additional fee. Choose from one or more of the following and sign up upon registration.
Culture Week (highly recommended): This 7-day jam-packed week is the perfect start to your volunteering and a great opportunity to learn about Thailand and meet other international volunteers. It offers you tours around historical areas (Ayutthaya historical park), Thai language lessons, cooking lessons, taste-testing (Thai BBQ), school visits, sightseeing (Wat Phra Phutthabat Temple (Buddha's footprint)), and so much more! This week will ease you into your volunteering experience by providing you with an better understanding of the history, culture and customs. Please note that the schedule can change at any time based on the weather conditions.
The Culture Week takes place in Singburi and volunteers will be transferred to the sanctuary at the end of the week.
- Thai Boxing: Sign up for authentic and traditional Thai boxing classes under the provincial champion of the Sing Buri district. Learn the basic principles and foundations of the exquisite art form, Muay Thai.
- Hua Hin Beach & Volunteer Week: This jam-packed week will help you make the most of your experience in Thailand. You will have the chance to go on cultural excursions to learn about Thai Buddhism and assist monks with daily chores. You will also have the opportunity to teach local children with some time dedicated to beach conservation. On a few afternoons you will have free time to relax at the beaches of Hua Hin!
- Jungle Trek in Khao Yai National Park: Get ready for adventure as you trek through the tropical forests which cover Khao Yai National Park. You'll have the opportunity to attend a traditional tribal dance show, trek to spectacular waterfalls and caves hidden in the jungle and more!
- Thai Buddhism Immersion in Wang Nam Khiao: During this week-long program you will be introduced to Buddhism. You will have the chance to discuss Buddhism with a local monk and enjoy a 2-day stay at the Wat Suptawee Temple to learn walking and sitting meditation forms as well as experience the daily life of monks.
- Elephant Experience in Umphang: Spend a week working side by side with the mahouts (elephant care takers) as they do their daily tasks with the elephants: feeding them, cleaning them and preforming health check-ups. This is an excellent opportunity to learn about how elephants fit into Thai culture and the social problems that have arisen as elephants and humans compete for land.