Volunteer Cambodia Bear Sanctuary

This project needs volunteers to help care for and rehabilitate over 100 bears that have been rescued from the illegal wildlife trade, from bear bile farms and from lives as domestic pets. Read on to get the low down on how you can help these beautiful creatures.

Duration: 1 to 12 weeks

Hours: 8am to 4pm Monday to Friday

Activities: Feeding the bears, devising and making enrichments (food games), maintaining bear enclosures

Location: Cambodia

City info: One hour south of Cambodia's thriving capital, Phnom Penh

Accommodation: Shared volunteer house

Requirements: Aged 21+

Volunteer Placement Fee: From £700 / US$835

How you will spend your time at the project

Volunteers work Monday to Friday from 8am to 4pm at the sanctuary with weekends free to explore the local area. Phnom Penh, Cambodia's fascinating capital city is within easy reach, as are the Cambodian coast and islands. You will work closely with local staff assisting with a variety of tasks, all of which enhance the lives of the bears.
  • Assisting the keepers in a wide range of daily tasks.
  • Preparing food for the bears, moving them inside and then scattering and hiding the food in their enclosure, recreating an environment that is as close to their natural habitat as possible where they would need to forage for their food.
  • Making enrichments which includes improving the existing enclosures to keep the bears challenged and entertained.
  • Creating small puzzles and challenges for the bears to complete to obtain treats.
  • Maintaining and cleaning the outdoor enclosures and indoor holding pens.
  • Maintenance of the centre and surrounding area.

Why the project needs volunteers

All the bears at the centre have been rescued from unnatural and often life-threatening situations. Volunteers work alongside project staff to ensure the lives of the bears are interesting, challenging and as close to 'normal' as posible.
The sanctuary is dedicated to the rescue and rehabilitation of bears poached for bear bile farms, traditional medicines, exploited as pets, used for profit within the tourist industry or rescued from the illegal wildlife trade.
Twenty one forested enclosures have been built over seven hectares to house a mixture of Sun bears and Asiatic black bears of different ages and personalities.
All of the enclosures are extensively furnished with pools, rocks, hammocks, climbing frames, lush native vegetation and a variety of enrichment toys to ensure that the bears are kept happy and healthy at all times.
Many of the bears cannot be reintroduced to the wild as they have suffered serious physical abuse or have been raised as pets. The rescue project aims to give these bears the best possible quality of life in captivity by providing large areas that match the environment in which they would live in the wild.

"It is a great experience and you will feel so accomplished after doing it, and you are helping such a good cause."

Carmel, Transport Manager, Ireland

More Information

Read more about the Cambodia Bear Sanctuary including accommodation, location, extra activities, climate and what makes Globalteer different.

Read More about the Sanctuary



Volunteer Placement Fee

The volunteer placement fee includes:

  • Airport pick up from Phnom Penh international airport.
  • Accommodation in the volunteer house.
  • Daily breakfast and evening meal from Sunday to Friday.
  • Daily transport by car to the sanctuary.
  • Induction and training.
  • Full project support from the volunteer coordinator.
  • Comprehensive information brochure.
  • Assistance and advice for travelling to Cambodia.
  • Volunteers arrive at this project on Sundays and leave on Saturdays.

The volunteer placement fee does not include the cost of flights or visas although information can be provided on request.

Groups and families are welcome at this project. Returning volunteers and those doing multiple Globalteer projects will receive a discount of US$70 / GBP£50.

Reserve Your Place

Application process & requirements

The minimum age for volunteers is 21 years old. No previous experience or qualifications are necessary but we do require volunteers to be respectful and open minded to the cultural differences they will encounter in Cambodia. Insurance is compulsory for this project.

Volunteers must be reasonably fit as the work can be demanding in the tropical heat. You must be able to speak English. Volunteers must have a similar ideology to the mission of the bear sanctuary, wildlife trainers and those who exploit wildlife for the benefit of people are not suitable for this project.
  1. Click on the link below to fill out an application form.
  2. Add "@globalteer.org" to your E-mail safe list to ensure that you receive a response.
  3. Your application will be reviewed and if accepted you will be notified via E-mail within one week.
  4. Pay your deposit to secure your placement within one week of acceptance.
  5. Research your destination, book your flight, inoculations and ask us any questions you may have.
  6. Full amount is to be paid 10 weeks before the start of your volunteer placement.
  7. A comprehensive information folder will be sent to you with all information including a packing list, Cambodia cultural differences, Buddhist Monk etiquette, useful Khmer language phrases, bear sanctuary rules, useful phone contacts and full project information.
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