Wildlife Rescue

Thailand

The project rescues animals that have been injured or mistreated and seeks to rehabilitate and re-release the animals or provide a home as close to the natural environment as possible.

You will support the team in caring for the monkeys, bears and other wild animals at the centre. The extra support from volunteers is crucial to ensure that every animal receives the optimum level of care. By spreading the word about the use and abuse of animals on their return, volunteers act as ambassadors for the project, raising awareness of these issues and what can be done to help them. You can also combine this role with the Elephant Care project.

Explore the beautiful local area and fascinating night markets in the popular destination of Hua Hin. Visit one of the nearby national parks and see some wonderful wildlife!

Help the Wildlife Rescue team to care for animals in need.

Apply

Key Info

key info
  • Location: 3 hours south of Bangkok
  • Start dates: Every Sunday
  • Duration: 1 - 12 weeks
  • Age requirement: 18+ (11+ for families or groups)
  • Availability: Spaces available, limited until Feb
  • Cost: From £599 / €700 / $765 - see fees table below

Project Information

Volunteer role: What will I be doing?

Both the Wildlife Rescue and Elephant Care roles are based at the same sanctuary and you can choose to either specialise in one role or combine the two.

The centre operates as a sanctuary to abused, neglected or injured animals. There are currently over 500 rescued animals at the centre including approximately 300 primates, 25 bears and a variety of other small mammals, birds and reptiles. The number of animals at the centre can fluctuate due to releases and new rescues.

Each day will differ and Wildlife Rescue volunteer tasks may include:

  • Feeding the animals
  • Providing water for the animals
  • Assisting with cleaning the enclosures
  • Creating enrichments for the animals
  • Maintenance work for enclosures and fences
  • Looking after other domesticated animals on site

In addition to the above tasks both Elephant Care and Wildlife Rescue volunteers may also be involved in the construction or maintenance of enclosures and cleaning or developing the centre grounds / farmland.

Volunteers will also be allocated other duties which are shared between all volunteers. This includes caring for the rescued dogs and cats on site. For dogs in particular this means helping on bath days, feeding and removing ticks - please be prepared for dogs with poor skin conditions which is common in Thailand. You may also be required to do domestic duties, assisting with the housekeeping of the centre.

There are always tasks to be done on site and so if you want more work, make sure you ask! If you have a specific skill or interest let the team know as they may have jobs on their long term ‘to-do’ list for you.

Working days and hours

Volunteers work a 6 day working week from about 6.30am-5pm on a rota basis, depending on the needs of the project at the time. Volunteers live on site, a short walk away from the animals. There are many exciting free time activities locally including 3 national parks to explore!

Other volunteers

There are usually 15-30 volunteers on each role with a maximum of 70 in total, but this varies considerably throughout the year.

Duke of Edinburgh’s (DofE) award

This placement has been approved by the DofE as meeting the requirements for the Residential section of the Gold Award.

Volunteer Reviews

Read about volunteer experiences and challenges in our Thailand Wildlife Rescue reviews.

Why are volunteers needed?

Whilst the sanctuary employs full time local staff to care for the animals, they are overstretched due to the scale of the work and the daily care tasks. The extra support from volunteers is crucial to ensure that every animal receives the optimum level of care. The extra help from volunteers also allows the local team to focus on other important tasks such as animal rights campaigning and education. Volunteers can also contribute creatively by helping to design enrichments for the animals.

“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

Location, free time and accommodation

Thailand

Thailand is often referred to as the ‘land of smiles’ and is a huge attraction for travellers from around the world due to its glorious beaches, tropical climate, great food and fascinating culture. Thailand has something to offer everyone and popular activities include:

  • Visiting the tranquil mountains in the North
  • Idyllic beaches on the Southern islands
  • The bustling modern city of Bangkok

To find out more, see the Lonely Planet Thailand

Local area and free time

The centre is located in a tropical region about 160km south of Bangkok. It is on temple grounds and just outside a small village. It is a fairly remote location and provides a peaceful and beautiful environment. There is a large lake opposite the centre which has a series of small ‘gibbon islands’ used to rehabilitate the gibbons.

There are two local towns; Cha Am (30 minutes by taxi) and Hua Hin (45 minutes by taxi). Both of these towns are on the coast of the Gulf of Thailand and are popular beach resorts.

The centre is located in a beautiful area which can be easily explored on foot. There is a small spa nearby which is very popular with volunteers on their day off. There are also three national parks not far away which you are able to visit; Kui Buri National Park, Kaeng Krachan National Park and Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park. These activities are best booked locally once you are at the project.

In the evenings volunteers may sit and relax in the open communal areas, or choose to go to Hua Hin where there are bars, restaurants and a night market. There is also a weekly night market in Cha Am selling clothes and souvenirs.

Accommodation

Volunteers live in simple shared rooms onsite, and bathrooms are shared. 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. There is limited WIFI but 3G internet access is available.

Female volunteers can request to stay in the separate female-only accommodation which, due to its location, is quieter and the building overlooks four of the elephant enclosures.

Read volunteer reviews from the Wildlife Rescue project

Katie

“Volunteering at the wildlife rescue center in Thailand enabled me to gain new knowledge about the animals within the center and meet inspiring people despite only being there a week. I would not change a single thing about my stay there. All the leaders were so helpful and knowledgeable.

The center provided plenty of trips in the evenings and for days off in order to keep us occupied in free time and be able to explore the local towns and villages. Most rewarding was seeing the difference after completing a job. All in all it was worth every penny and hope to return again in the future”

Louise

“Me and my partner volunteered here for the first week of our honeymoon. We had the most amazing and wonderful experience and it is something we will never forget. From first signing up with pod volunteer, the communication from start to finish was spot on. This place was magical and although hard work in basic conditions we wouldn’t change it for the world. The staff were so friendly and the love they have for these animals is unconditional.

We met some amazing young people from all over the world who all shared the same love for animals and it was just perfect. Because of this we have promised ourselves to volunteer every year at a different place and create more memories. I would recommend this to anyone and am truly blessed to have been a part of it. Most rewarding was meeting other volunteers and helping with the rehabilitation of so many different animals.”

Yuma

“I thoroughly enjoyed my placement in Thailand as I got to see a variety of animals and their different behaviours, some acquired and some innate. I have increased my knowledge of the animals I worked with and was astonished by how little I know! Even though it was hard work at times, I believe my time at centre was an invaluable experience. Also, I have met some amazing people whom I will remain in contact with.

Most rewarding was realising that some of the animals will be released back into the wild and some (like the elephants) can now “retire” without being abused. Finally I would definitely recommend this project to anyone who is genuinely interested in animals and even their behaviour.”

Susan

“My placement at Thailand was great; I really cannot find words to explain. Just retired from working and I needed a new adventure. I met lots of nice animals and fell in love some kittens that come into the hospital. The people in the village were magic and I have made a lot of friends with nice people. I had a great time got loads of good pics and videos. Wildlife rescue was a dream come true for me.

Most rewarding was getting to know the animals and knowing you are help. Enjoy it, its something special that you doing. All I can say is just go and get the buzz that I got and you are never too old, it is hard rewarding work. JUST DO IT, YOU WILL NOT FORGET IT and it’s a memory in your life forever POD needs YOU.”

Read more reviews

What's Included?

Before you go:

  • Carefully selected and vetted volunteer project
  • Support from our friendly and highly experienced Pod UK team
  • Single point of contact - Lucy will be your dedicated Pod Volunteer Specialist
  • In-depth volunteering and planning your trip guides
  • 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

On your placement:

  • Animal care volunteering placement
  • Arrangement of airport pickup from Bangkok
  • Accommodation - a basic shared room
  • Food - all main meals
  • Onsite support from local team
  • Support from Pod UK office by phone and email
  • 24/7 emergency back up
  • Incident Management and Emergency Response Plans

On your return:

  • Contact from your Pod Volunteer Specialist
  • Feedback scheme
  • Volunteering certificate (on request)
  • References (on request)
  • Member of the Pod community

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.

Pod Volunteer is run as a non-profit organisation. Fee levels are set to match costs and any surplus monies are distributed to the projects we work with via the Pod Charity.
Price table
1 week Wildlife Rescue £599 GB Pounds
2 weeks Wildlife Rescue £799 GB Pounds
Extra weeks £120 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
Apply

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 Wildlife Rescue and Elephant Care roles, see above for examples

15

years rescuing, caring and campaigning for animals in need in Thailand

"It was an amazing experience that will stay with me forever! Pod Volunteer provided the ideal amount of support and guidance"Satvinder

Lucy

Pod UK Specialist

Apply and you'll hear from Lucy soon!

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

Apply

VOLUNTEER REVIEWS

  • Thailand Wildlife Rescue volunteer - Holly

    “The centre is not only a place where I was given the incredible opportunity to observe, care for and learn about amazing animals but also a place where I made lifelong friends. One of the best experiences of my life!”

    Read more volunteer reviews
  • Thailand Wildlife Rescue volunteer - Meg

    “Not only have I learned more about animals, Thailand, and volunteering, but I have also learnt a lot about myself. If you love animals, are ready to explore and meet new people, this program definitely offers you it.”

    Read more volunteer reviews
  • Thailand Wildlife Rescue volunteer - Priyanka

    “I had such an amazing group of volunteers to work with. Everyone was so kind and friendly especially the Thai staff. I would absolutely recommend the experience. I fell in love with a few of the animals and miss them terribly!”

    Read more volunteer reviews

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AWARDS AND ACCREDITATIONS

  • Tourism Concern
  • Association of Bonded Travel Organisers Trust
  • Right Tourism
  • DOFE
  • theguardian
  • the independent
  • Sunday Times
  • Year Out Group
  • Best Volunteering Organisation
  • Wall Street Journal