Wildlife RescueThailand

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 vibrant night market 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.

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Key Info

key info
  • Location: 3 hours south of Bangkok
  • Start dates: Every Sunday
  • Duration: 1 - 12 weeks
  • Age requirement: 18+ (10+ for families or groups)
  • Availability: Spaces limited until November 2019
  • Cost: From £645 / €710 / $800 - see fees table below
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Project Information

Volunteer role: What will I be doing?

There are currently over 650 rescued animals at the centre including 25 elephants, over 300 primates, 25 bears and a variety of other small mammals, birds and reptiles. There are two volunteer roles at the centre - Wildlife Rescue and Elephant Care - you can choose to either specialise in one role or combine the two.

The aim is to re-release the animals or ensure that they spend the rest of their lives in a sanctuary as close to their natural environment as possible. The centre is making a big impact and and has one of the highest re-release rates in Thailand as well as actively campaigning for better animal treatment including issues such as the illegal pet trade, poaching and the use of animals within the tourist industry.

The main Wildlife Rescue volunteer tasks are:

  • Preparing and distributing food and water for the animals
  • Cleaning the enclosures and grounds
  • Creating enrichments for the animals
  • Construction and maintenance of enclosures (if taking place while you are there)

Volunteers are also allocated other shared duties including cleaning the dining area and caring for the rescued dogs on site. For the dogs, this means helping on bath days, feeding and removing ticks. Some dogs may have poor skin conditions, which is common in Thailand.

You will generally work in small teams with a team leader (usually another volunteer) although you will often not be directly supervised and are expected to be able to work independently. You will learn most things whilst doing them. For your own and others safety, you must be aware of the risks and follow all instructions.

“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

Typical day

Volunteers work a 6 day working week from about 6.30am-5pm on a rota basis and a working day typically follows this schedule:

  • 6.30am-8am - Volunteering
  • 8am-9am - Breakfast
  • 9am-12pm - Volunteering
  • 12pm-1pm - Lunch
  • 1pm-5pm - Volunteering
  • 6pm - Dinner & relax!

In the first two days, you will have a half day induction and tour of the centre, as well as a health & safety briefing.

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!

Hands off Policy

The Wildlife Rescue role has a strict ‘hands off’ policy in place for the welfare and safety of both animals and volunteers. The less contact the animals have with humans the more likely they will be able to express normal behaviour and have the potential to be released back into the wild. Touching the animals also increases the risk of disease transmission between animals and humans as well as the risk of being injured by an animal.

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.

Local support

You will be supported by the local team at the centre which includes several international and Thai co-ordinators who are responsible for managing volunteers and the daily work of the wildlife and elephant teams.

Accommodation

Accommodation is provided in simple shared rooms located in the centre grounds and there are separate shared bathrooms.

There is a large open air communal dining area where volunteers have meals and can relax in the evenings. There is WIFI in the dining area but it can be limited so you may want to consider buying a local SIM card and accessing 3/4G.

Meals

Main meals are included and are prepared by Thai cooks. Here are typical examples of the food you will have:

  • Breakfast – bread, cereals, eggs, yoghurt, spreads and fresh fruit
  • Lunch and dinner – mainly traditional Thai food such curries, stir fries, rice and noodles. There is usually also a ‘pasta night’ once a week  

Every meal includes a vegetarian and vegan option. If you have any allergies or specific dietary requirements please let us know in advance and we will check if these can be catered for.

Drinking water is provided on site from water dispensers where volunteers can fill up their water bottles throughout the day.

Location and free time

The centre is located in a tropical region about 3 hours south of Bangkok. Situated on temple grounds and just outside a small village, it's a fairly remote location and a peaceful and beautiful environment. There is a lake opposite the centre which has a series of small ‘gibbon islands’ used to rehabilitate the gibbons.

In the local village (10 minute walk away) there are cash machines, a couple of small supermarkets selling basic items such as toiletries and snacks and a couple of restaurants.

There are two bigger towns, Cha Am and Hua Hin (45 mins-1 hour by taxi). Both these towns are on the coast of the Gulf of Thailand and are popular beach resorts.

In the evenings volunteers often sit and relax in the open communal area and there is a bar where volunteers can buy drinks, snacks and smoothies. Volunteers may also choose to go to Hua Hin where there are bars, restaurants and a bustling night market, ideal for souvenir hunting! There is also a weekly night market in Cha Am selling clothes and local foods.

There is a small resort with swimming pool and Thai massage treatments available nearby (20 minutes by taxi) which is very popular with volunteers on their day off. There are also three national parks 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.

Travelling in Thailand before or after your placement

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 that you might like to combine with your volunteer project include:

  • Visiting the islands of Koh Tao, famous for its scuba diving and laid back atmosphere
  • Visit the beautiful waterfalls, wildlife and limestone cliffs of Khao Sok National Park
  • Exploring the tranquil mountains in the North and meeting ethnic hill tribes
  • Visiting the many colourful and ancient temples  

For more information on Thailand and some of the things we loved when we visited there please see our Thailand country page. This also features all our other Thailand volunteering projects as you might like to consider combining this project with one of the others we offer to make a trip of a lifetime!

Thailand temple

Climate

Thailand has a tropical climate and throughout the year it is hot with temperatures generally between 25-33 degrees Celsius. There can be tropical rain showers at any time of year but the main rainy season is from July to October. 

Dates

Start dates are every Sunday.

What's Included

Included

  • Dedicated Pod Volunteer Specialist to support you
  • Accommodation - a basic shared room
  • Food - all main meals
  • Induction
  • Support from the local team
  • Support from the Pod Volunteer UK office by phone and email
  • 24/7 emergency back up
  • Volunteering certificate and reference (on request)

Not included

  • Flights
  • Travel insurance
  • Visa (if required)
  • Vaccinations and medication
  • Transfers to / from the project
  • Living costs - snacks, drinks, laundry
  • Any tourist trips / activities you choose to do in your free time
Price table
1 week Wildlife Rescue £645 GB Pounds
2 weeks Wildlife Rescue £845 GB Pounds
Extra weeks £120 GB Pounds
2 week combination of Elephant Care & Wildlife Rescue £895 GB Pounds
3 week combination of Elephant Care & Wildlife Rescue £1055 GB Pounds
4 week combination of Elephant Care & Wildlife Rescue £1215 GB Pounds
5 week combination of Elephant Care & Wildlife Rescue £1375 GB Pounds
6 week combination of Elephant Care & Wildlife Rescue £1535 GB Pounds
7 week combination of Elephant Care & Wildlife Rescue £1695 GB Pounds
8 week combination of Elephant Care & Wildlife Rescue £1855 GB Pounds
Extra weeks on a combination placement £110 GB Pounds

Discounts

  • Special fees for volunteers combining Elephant Care and Wildlife Rescue roles, see price table for examples
  • £75 discount for every additional project you book as part of the same trip
  • £100 discount for any family members who are under 18
  • £75 discount if you have previously volunteered with Pod Volunteer 

Where the money goes - financial transparency

Your fee covers the overseas costs of volunteering and the costs of running our organisation in the UK, on a non-profit basis.  For more details and a breakdown of our costs please click here.

Book with confidence - financial protection

All monies paid to us are financially protected through The Association of Bonded Travel Organisers Trust Limited (ABTOT). 

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

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

17

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 Bee Iona

Pod UK Specialist

Bee, Iona and Lucy are the Pod Volunteer Specialists for this project, apply and you'll hear from them 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