Live in tropical Thailand and work up close to rescued Asian elephants, living in freedom after a hard life. Your work helps to educate others on conservation issues and protect engaged animals. You can combine this role with Wildlife Rescue to work with a variety of animals.
Volunteers work alongside local staff to care for 14-16 Asian elephants. Each day will differ but elephant care volunteer tasks may include:
You may also be involved in other activities around the centre such as helping clean the grounds, maintenance of enclosures or helping on the sanctuary’s farm land.
This project is ideal for stays of 1-6 weeks. If you have 6 weeks or longer we would recommend combining this project with the Wildlife Rescue project which is based at the same centre.
Volunteers work six days a week on a rotation basis, volunteers usually work from 6am until 5pm however there are regular breaks through the day.
There are generally between 25-35 volunteers on the Elephant Care role, however you live alongside volunteers on the Wildlife Rescue role and there can be 40-50 volunteers at the centre at one time.
Read about volunteer experiences and challenges in our Thailand Elephant Care Volunteering reviews.
Whilst each elephant is cared for by a dedicated mahout, they are in need of assistance with their tasks. The local staff are often over-stretched with daily care tasks and so the extra man-power from volunteers allow them to focus on long term plans. Additionally volunteers can offer contribute creatively and help to design enrichments for the elephants.
“The passion and commitment shown by volunteers allows the centre to run smoothly. Their love for animals allows us to continue to rescue and rehabilitate animals that have been forced into the tourist industry or kept as pets.”Becca, Volunteer Coordinator
The sanctuary we work with gives refuge to domesticated elephants that have been used in industry and many of the elephants arrive with severe health problems and bear the scars of previous abuse. The sanctuary’s aim is to provide a refuge that is as close to nature as possible.
Domesticated elephants were traditionally used in the logging industry but after the ban on logging, many mahouts turned to making a living from using their elephants in the tourist industry. Many elephants were used for begging on the streets of big cities, within circuses, made to give rides or to perform. The sanctuary campaigns to raise awareness of the abuse elephants (and many other animals) face in the tourist industry.
The sanctuary is based on temple grounds donated by a local abbot in a tropical region south of Bangkok. It is a peaceful and rural location and the sanctuary is located beside a small lake which has a series of small ‘gibbon islands’ used to rehabilitate the gibbons. In total there are around 400 animals living on site at the centre.
Volunteers live in basic shared rooms on site at the sanctuary, bathrooms are shared with cold water showers and western bucket-flush toilets. The sanctuary has a communal area where volunteers can relax in the evenings as well as a communal kitchen where you can make snacks and drinks.
Volunteers have one day off per week and popular local destinations include Hua Hin beach, Kui Buri National Park or relaxation at a local spa resort with a swimming pool!
Not included: Flights, travel insurance, visa (if required), cost of pickup and transfers. Budgeting guidance is provided in our Volunteering Guide which we will email you when you apply.
|Elephant Care - 1 week||£599||GB Pounds|
|Extra weeks||£200||GB Pounds|
|2 week combination of Elephant Care & Wildlife Rescue||£849||GB Pounds|
|3 week combination of Elephant Care & Wildlife Rescue||£1009||GB Pounds|
|4 week combination of Elephant Care & Wildlife Rescue||£1169||GB Pounds|
|5 week combination of Elephant Care & Wildlife Rescue||£1329||GB Pounds|
|6 week combination of Elephant Care & Wildlife Rescue||£1489||GB Pounds|
|7 week combination of Elephant Care & Wildlife Rescue||£1649||GB Pounds|
|8 week combination of Elephant Care & Wildlife Rescue||£1809||GB Pounds|
|Extra weeks on a combination placement||£110||GB Pounds|
Fees in currencies other than GBP are indicative only and volunteers are invoiced in GBP. For current exchange rates please see www.xe.com
Discounts for volunteers combining Elephant Care and Wildlife Rescue roles, see above for examples
animals rescued by the Elephant Care & Wildlife Rescue centre this year
"Pod is a no nonsense volunteer organisation looking to change lives"Cian
Apply and you'll hear from Sarah or Lucy soon!
We look forward to receiving your application! There is no commitment by applying and we will send more information.Apply
“Working with the elephants was an incredible experience… I worked as hard as I ever have, I was tired, wet, muddy, smelly, but never as alive and satisfied as I was when I was there.”Read more volunteer reviews
“This is without doubt the most rewarding thing I have ever done. I went by myself and had no idea what to expect... I am so glad I did. The harvests can be brutal, but I just told myself 'boot camp' and kept going!”Read more volunteer reviews
“My time in Thailand was the best time of my life! I highly recommend this placement for animal lovers, anyone who enjoys new experiences or who just wants to be immersed in a completely different way of life.”Read more volunteer reviews