Gibbon Rehabilitation Program

Experience life in the jungles of Western Thailand providing care and assistance to Gibbons who have been rescued from neglectful owners or adopted from families who could no longer care for them.

Gibbon Rehabilitation Volunteering

Project Type

Specialty Placement | Volunteer Center shared rooms 2-4 people p/room.  Wildlife rehabilitation of gibbons (monkeys)

Duration

1 week +

Start Dates

All year round

Location

Nearest to Mae Sot

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Program Fees

Whats Included

  • Arrival  airport transfer
  • 3 Meals p/day weekdays, 2 meals p/day weekends
  • Accommodation (Volunteer Centers – shared dorm style rooms)
  • Daily ground transportation (to/from project)
  • Training & supervision as required
  • Use of necessary equipment incl program materials
  • 24/7 emergency assistance, volunteer support, local guiding and advice
  • Touring & excursions as per itinerary
  • Certificate of Completion 

Whats Not Included

  • Travel insurance (mandatory)
  • Airfares & visa fees
  • Additional tours, souvenirs, spending money
  • Some daily local transport (depending on program eg. $2 p/day)

Project Objectives

Gibbons are an endangered ape species due to habitat loss poaching and illegal trade for tourism. The project focusses on rescuing wild gibbons which have been poorly treated, abused, injured or misplaced due to loss of habitat.  Sadly, many gibbons have been used as tourist attractions in which their owners use them as photo opportunities charging money.   Some of these animals have been taken from their natural habitat as newborns in horific circumstances.   It’s incredibly sad to see how humans have exploited these amazing creatures.   

Wildlife Project Overview

You will be situated in an animal sanctuary dedicated for the rescue and care of gibbons where a safe home exists as they are unable to be returned to the forest.   There are various other animal species here including over 20 monkeys, a bear, jackals and other animals in need from time to time. 

The sanctuary is surrounded by nature to mimick that of the animals natural habitat.  The animals live in huge cages which are inter-connected by wired tunnels to give them as much freedom as possible.   Gibbons are extremely acrobatic!   They’re able to jump from tree to tree as far as 15 meters!   Truly magnificant creatures, gibbons also have very advanced communication.   

Project Tasks

Among the various activities, feeding the gibbons and cleaning their cages are the most important daily roles in addition to giving them love and attention.  The more social interaction with humans the better to help them get over past trauma.   As they are unable to be let back into the wild, their quality of life is of great importance within the sanctuary.  They would be at extreme risk if returned to the wild.

  • Preparing Food – This is done twice a day in the morning and the afternoon. You will assist in preparing, distributing and feeding of the gibbons.
  • Cleaning 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 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 hand.

Location

Located outside of Mae Sot, you’ll be surrounded by lush jungle in a peaceful surrounding with mountain landscape.   No alarm clock needed, the gibbons will take care of that!   (They wake up each day at 5 or 6 with very loud calls!)  

Who Can Participate

Anyone interested in animal conservation and off the beaten path Thailand adventure.   This project has a cap on the number of volunteers so it’s recommended to book well in advance to ensure availability. 

Indicative Schedule

  • Sunday – Join an overnight transfer from the volunteer center in Singburi
  • Monday – If this is your first day, it will consist of a full introduction. 
  • Tuesday to Friday – A gibbon’s day starts early, and so will yours, as we need to wake up early to prepare their breakfast.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.  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.
    *Those with the proper background may assist with medical procedures, if and when they occur.
  • Saturday – End of program. You’re taken back to Mae Sot bus station around 07:00 or transferred to Singburi for further programs unless you stay in Mae Sot.

Volunteer Accommodation

The volunteer center is a large, safe, clean and comfortable wooden house which meets typical western standards.  Free WIFI in public areas (afternoons only), lockable rooms, hot showers, purified water, western style bathroom,  bed linen, mosquito protection and fans (no air con).    There are no laundry facilities so expect to wash your clothes by hand.  There are plenty of english books and a TV room with a selection of DVD’s.  

This location is perfect for those who enjoy trekking.   About a 1 hour drive from Mae Sot, you’re quite deep in the jungle here on the border of Myanmar.  

Meals

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.  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!

Visa Requirements

It is the responsibility of all participants to obtain any necessary visas.

 
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