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Bear Rescue - Cambodia

  • Help the centre to care for over 150 rescued bears
  • Work with endangered species including Malaysian sun bears and Asiatic black bears
  • Provide enrichment to these amazing animals within a larger wildlife centre
  • Explore Cambodia's breath-taking scenery and visit Angkor Wat in your free time
Location 1 hour south of Phnom Penh
Start dates Every week on a Sunday
Duration 1 - 8 weeks
Availability Spaces available
Volunteer age requirement: 21 years +
Cost From £595 / $945 - see pricing table below

How will I make a difference?

By volunteering at the centre you will make a major contribution to the welfare of bears in Asia by helping the centre to continue with its amazing work. Your time and efforts will help to care for the bears, and the majority of the programme cost will go direct to the centre providing an essential source of funding for their future work.

The project has achieved a great deal with the support of volunteers by providing a safe haven for the rescued bears to enjoy. The centre has also been at the forefront of ending the dancing bear trade in Asia.

Thanks to the hard work of the centre and volunteers, all of the enclosures are now extensively furnished with pools, rocks, hammocks, climbing frames, lush native vegetation, and a variety of enrichment toys to ensure that the bears are kept happy and healthy at all times.

Read what past volunteers have said about this project in our Cambodia Bear Rescue reviews.

Bear rescue volunteering in Cambodia: What will I be doing?

Volunteers normally have 2 days off per week and work from 8am to 4pm from Monday to Friday. This work will include:

  • Preparing bear food and assisting the keepers to feed the bears
  • Repairing and maintaining the enclosures
  • Maintenance and cleaning of the areas surrounding the enclosures
  • Working with the keepers; cleaning the enclosures inside and outside
  • Making enrichment items and activities for the bears

You will be working closely with the keepers. Other tasks do not directly involve the bears but benefit them greatly, such as developing new 'enrichments'. Enrichment is anything that makes the bears lives more interesting such as filling up hollow bamboo with honey or other treats, making frozen fruit ice lollies, rebuilding climbing frames, putting out dead trees etc.

Direct physical contact with the bears is not possible as these are large wild animals and can potentially be dangerous. The only exception is if there are young cubs at the centre during your stay, but this cannot be guaranteed and will be at the volunteer coordinator’s discretion and under their supervision.

There are usually 1-4 volunteers at the project at any one time with a maximum of 6. You will be working with a larger full time team of staff.

More about the project

The centre aims to protect, preserve and enrich the lives of bears. To date they have rescued over 150 bears which have come from a variety of backgrounds. There are many dangers facing bears, and they need to be rescued from a number of circumstances, including being:

  • Rescued from restaurants where they would have been butchered and served as bear paw soup to diners
  • Confiscated from hotels and restaurants where they were caged for the amusement of guests and tourists
  • Seized from the black market where their gallbladders and other parts have been used for traditional medicines or souvenirs
  • Saved from poachers selling orphaned cubs as exotic pets or status symbols
  • Freed from snare traps set in the forests to capture animals

The rescued bears live in forested enclosures which have been built over 5 hectares.

Location and free time

The bear rescue centre forms part of a larger wildlife rescue centre is located about 1 hour's drive from the capital city Phnom Penh.

During your free time you can relax at the volunteer house, which is very comfortable and has a nice lounging area and balcony. It is also equipped with games and DVDs for evening entertainment!

You can easily walk to the local village which has a food market. Phnom Penh is a great place to visit at weekends. It is an exciting city, growing fast and becoming more geared up to tourism. There is a lot to do and there are many bars and restaurants catering to different tastes.

Cambodia itself is a beautiful country with breath-taking scenery and warm, friendly, welcoming people. There are many places of interest including the world heritage site of Angkor Wat.

Volunteer accommodation

Volunteers live in a 5 bedroom house on the outskirts of Samranjouen village, roughly 10km away from the sanctuary. Rooms are shared between two (same sex) volunteers and a cleaner/cook is employed to look after the house. There is also satellite internet in the house which volunteers can use.

What's included

Before you go On your placement
  • Carefully selected and vetted volunteer project
  • Support from our friendly and highly experienced PoD UK team
  • Single point of contact - Becky is your dedicated placement manager
  • In-depth information booklet on your volunteering placement
  • Travel information - visa, health and safety advice
  • Specialist travel insurance at exclusive rates
  • Recommended travel agency for flights and tours
  • Access to special deals and resources
  • Fundraising guide and support
  • Financial protection for monies paid to PoD
  • Animal care volunteering placement
  • Pick up from a meeting point in Phnom Penh and transfer
  • Accommodation - a simple shared room
  • Food - breakfast and dinner
  • Daily transport to the project site
  • Induction and training
  • Support from local team
  • Support from PoD UK office
  • 24/7 emergency back up
  • Specialist crisis management insurance
On your return
  • Contact from your placement manager
  • Feedback scheme
  • Volunteering certificate (on request)
  • References (on request)
  • Member of the PoD community
Not included: Flights, travel insurance, visa (if required), food (lunch). Budgeting guidance is provided in our information booklet which we will email you when you apply.

How volunteer fees are set

PoD is run as a non-profit volunteer organisation. Fee levels are set to match costs and any surplus monies are distributed to the projects we work with via the PoD Charity - for more details click here.


1 week £595 €705 $940 $1015
Extra weeks £275 €325 $435 $470

Prices in currencies other than GBP are indicative only and volunteers are invoiced in GBP.  For current exchange rates please see www.xe.com


We look forward to receiving your application! There is no commitment by applying and we will send more information


PoD UK Manager



Becky in the PoD UK team is the placement manager for this project so if you apply you will hear from her soon!

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