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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
Age Requirements 21 +
Availability Spaces available, fully booked 15 Nov - 12th Dec 2015
Cost From £595 / €770 / $945 - see fees table below

Volunteer role: What will I be doing?

Volunteers work alongside local keepers to care for some of the 150 bears currently at the rescue centre. Every day can vary but work could include:

  • Preparing bear food and assisting the keepers to feed the bears
  • Repairing and maintaining the enclosures
  • Working with the keepers; cleaning the enclosures inside and outside
  • Making enrichment items and activities for the bears. An enrichment activity 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.

Other tasks do not directly involve the bears but benefit them greatly, such as constructing new play areas, enrichments or weaving hammocks – bears love to climb!

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.

Hear from past Cambodia Bear Rescue volunteer?

Read about volunteer experiences and challenges in our Cambodia Bear Rescue reviews.



view photo album | view video


How is the Cambodia Bear Rescue project making a difference?

Despite the fact that poaching and owning a bear as a pet are both illegal in Cambodia, bears are still targeting by pet traders, traditional medicine traders (bear bile being a highly priced commodity) and kept within the tourist industry.

The centre is home to around 150 bears in total, both Sun and Moon Bears. Many have been confiscated from homes following years of mistreatment as pets, seized from the black market trades or freed from snare traps.

Due to mass deforestation in Cambodia, re-release is difficult and many bears have long term health problems. The project aims to give them a comfortable life at the centre; enclosures are large with lush local vegetation, climbing frames and pools and volunteers and staff work hard to provide a variety of enrichments on a daily basis.

The Bear rescue project also works with the local community to educate them on Malayan Sun Bears and Asiatic Black Bears (Moon Bears), teaching children from local schools about the importance of conservation and preservation of bears.

Why are volunteers needed?

The centre employs full time Khmer staff to support the bears however many of the roles are labour intensive and there is always more to be done; whether it is fixing or expanding an enclosure, creating a new enrichment idea or simply helping with the daily duties.

By having support from international volunteers the centre are able to get their message out to other tourists and travellers in Cambodia and increase the knowledge in the wider world on this little known species and the threats they are facing.

Where will I be living?

You will live together with staff and other volunteers in a Volunteer House around 30 minutes’ drive from the centre in a beautiful rural area surrounded by paddy fields and opposite a temple.

The volunteer house is a basic Cambodian style house with open-air ground floor and bedrooms upstairs. Bedrooms are shared 1-4 volunteers per room. Bathrooms are shared between volunteers and are cold water. The house has a kitchen and comfortable living area.

There is no wireless internet connection on site but volunteers can occasionally get phone signal and so 3G connections are sometimes possible.




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 Volunteering Guide on your volunteering placement
  • Travel information - visa, health and safety advice
  • Access to 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 basic 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
  • Crisis management plans and 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 Volunteering Guide which we will email you when you apply.

Pod Volunteer fees

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 €770 $945 $1105
Extra weeks £295 €380 $470 $550

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 has visited this project and is the placement manager so if you apply you will hear from her soon!

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