Animal Welfare Volunteer in Mae Sot Thailand
The essential focus of this project is to rescue gibbons that have been badly treated, abused or injured, especially from people who make money off them by using them as tourist attractions and “photo opportunities”, charging for taking photos with them. These animals have been previously taken from jungles as newborns, and in order to be able to make them come down from the trees, their parents are shot.
The sanctuary aims to rescue these gibbons and provide them with a safe home as they are unable to return to the forest after such a long time.
As a volunteer on this project, you should provide the gibbons with the love and care that they require.
Also known as “the smaller apes”, gibbons are one of the most endangered of ape species due to loss of their habitat as well as poaching and illegal trade for tourism purposes. Moreover, gibbons are one of the few species that remain monogamous. If their partner dies, they are unlikely to mate with another gibbon, giving little to no chance of new babies.
The main activities will be to feed the gibbons, clean their enclosures and perhaps most importantly, to give them love, attention and to “socialise” with these beautiful and charming creatures. This will help them get used to interacting with human beings as they can no longer be released into the wild. Their quality of life is of paramount importance to this project. The gibbons will remain in the sanctuary for the duration of their lives, as they would be at extreme risk if returned to the wild.
The sanctuary is aimed at gibbons. However, it does not reject any animal in need! Over the previous years, other furry friends in need have made it here, including over 20 macaque monkeys, a bear, two jackals and a even a bearcat.
Surrounded by lush nature, the center creates an environment that resembles that of their natural habitat, the gibbons live in huge cages which are interconnected by wired tunnels in order to keep them safe while at the same time giving them as much space as possible to do what they do best: swing! These creatures are considered some of the world’s best acrobats and they are able to jump from tree to tree as far as 15 meters apart!
A compassionate attitude towards animals is of course required for this project! You should leave this project knowing that you have helped, cared for and given love to these deserving and fascinating creatures.
Some of the activities you will be involved with include:
This is done twice a day in the morning and the afternoon. You will assist in preparing, distributing and feeding of the gibbons.
Cleaning and Tidying Enclosures
It’s a dirty job…. but someone’s got to do it! This basic hygiene procedure is carried out daily. Keep in mind that you will not be allowed inside the cage with gibbons for safety reasons and the tidying is done only underneath the cages.
Socialising with the Gibbons
This may sound like a straightforward job, but the value of it cannot be underestimated. Many of these gibbons have developed a fear of humans due to bad and negligent treatment. Making them comfortable around humans is crucial through activities such as “fluffing”, imitating their calling “OoooooOOO”, and holding their hands.
Aims & Objectives
- Provide a safe and comfortable environment for gibbons
- Make the gibbons comfortable with human interaction and to establish mutual trust
- Give you invaluable, practical experience in working with animals
- Assist the local staff by providing an extra hand
PLEASE NOTE: Before booking this project please check availability. Travel@truexperiencetravel.co.uk
You will join an overnight transfer to the program location from Singburi.
If this is your first day, it will consist of a full introduction. This is to raise awareness of your role during the project.
Any direct contact with the Gibbons MUST be done with the supervision of the staff. Each gibbon is different and you must first get acquainted with them before attempting to make contact with them.
Tuesday to Friday
This is where you will be unleashed into your full time role at the project. A gibbon’s day starts early, and so will yours, as we need to wake up early to prepare their breakfast. But don’t worry – you are unlikely to need to set up an alarm clock as the gibbons produce a distinctive calling as soon as they wake up (it’s so loud that can be heard from kilometers away!).
Your typical daily duties will include: cleaning the gibbon enclosures. At times, the sanctuary receives visitors (although not often) who want to meet the gibbons for a few hours. In this case, you might be asked to show them around.
Moreover, those with the proper background may assist with medical procedures, if and when they occur.
Your day will end at around 15:30 (the gibbons go to bed quite early), so your afternoons are free to explore the sanctuary, read a book (there are many English books available upon request and a TV room with a wide selection of DVDs), learn more about gibbons or simply relax before dinner time.
End of program. You get taken to Mae Sot bus station around 07:00 or transferred to Singburi for further programs unless you stay in Mae Sot.
This schedule can be changed and/or amended depending on weather conditions, local conditions and unforeseen circumstances.
You will be located in one of the most elegant, sparse and relaxed areas of Thailand. Located outside of Mae Sot, the gibbon sanctuary will provide you with peaceful surroundings amidst lush jungle and mountain landscapes. You are unlikely to need an alarm clock here – as the gibbons wake up between 5 and 6 am and call out (warning: they are loud!)
Accommodation & Food
You will be living in beautiful wooden houses that meet typical western standards.
There are books in English available as well as a TV room with a varied selection of DVDs which you can enjoy during your spare time.
Three homemade meals are provided per day in the house (Thai and Western style). However, at times, you might be taken out to a nearby local restaurant. The meals will consist of Rice, Vegetables, Fruits and Pulses.
There is a mini kitchen with a refrigerator, so feel free to bring snacks. A good idea since there are no shops nearby, so make sure you bring anything you might need!
Due to its rural location, there are no ATMs or shops in the area. You should not need much money as most things are provided on site.
Sights & Surroundings
This location is based in the jungle and so it is very rural. This is perfect however for those who enjoy trekking!
A 50 minute drive away is the town of Mae Sot, which shares a border with Myanmar and despite being quite small, it does have an airport, making it a good place to connect with the rest of Thailand via domestic airlines.
From this location we provide free transport to your next program at the following location(s):
- Akha Village Chiang Rai
- Hua Hin
- Kaeng Krachan
- Suphan Buri
- Train Track Northern Thailand
- Trunk to the South
- Udon Thani
- Wang Nam Khiao
Trip Country Info
Population: Approx. 67 million
Currency: Baht (THB)
Time zone: ICT (UTC +7)
From trekking in the beautiful mountains of the north to enjoying the glorious beaches in the south and experiencing the hustle and bustle of the metropolis that is Bangkok, Thailand is certainly not a country that lacks variety.
Whilst it really is at the heart of Southeast Asia, bordered by Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia and Malaysia, its cultural identity remains very unique. As the only country in Southeast Asia to avoid European powers, the Thai are proud to refer to themselves as ‘The Land of the Free’ and many tourists might also know it as ‘The Land of Smiles’ due to its friendly people.
Thailand is not only a famous holiday and gap year travel destination, but one of the most exciting countries in the world. Gap year travel to Thailand enables you to experience the excitement of city life as well as the serenity of some of the most spectacular remote islands and countryside areas. By booking your gap year holiday to Thailand with TRU, you will be able to get a unique view of this amazing country that is difficult to replicate on your own. We have a fabulous selection of gap year adventures in Thailand from Gibbon encounters and Elephant Sanctuary work to Clayhouse building and volunteering programs.
With our range of ongoing programs, you can even compose your schedule the way you like it. With this flexibility it enables you to say when you are on site and when you spend time with the new friends you have made from all over the world. Have a look at our latest volunteering and gap year travel to Thailand below or give us a call to find out more about our exciting gap year programs in Thailand.
You can take this opportunity to mix and match projects tailor to your preference. Why pick one when you can pick several.
Participant Criteria & Requirements
No requirements have been provided.
- 24/7 support in case of emergencies
- Airport Pick up
- English speaking coordinator
What's not included
- Airport drop off
- Travel insurance