ExperiencesVolunteer Abroad

Volunteer Spotlight: Emma

Volunteer Review from Thailand

Emma volunteered at the Sanctuary for 3 weeks. Read Emma's volunteer review from Thailand... 

I was met by my taxi to take me to the Thailand Animal Rescue Centre in Cha-Am. The taxi driver pointed out pineapple farms and temples along the way. I couldn’t decide whether I was excited at meeting lots of like-minded new people, or terrified at meeting a load of strangers who already knew each other.

How would I remember everyone's names!

I needed have worried, however. As soon as I arrived at the centre, I was greeted by friendly faces, of both the human and primate varieties! My only worry was how on earth I was going to remember everybody’s names!

I started work the very next day. My first job was ‘Bears’ which involved feeding and cleaning out the enclosure of the bears, including Malayan Sun Bears and Asiatic Black Bears. It was hard work but very enjoyable working outside in the sunshine and an amazing experience to get so close to exotic animals for the first time. All day long as I worked, I could hear the gibbons singing and whooping, an unforgettable sound.

My second job at the centre was perhaps the hardest to pick up. This was feeding. Although simple in principle, it involved remembering the location of all the different gibbons and macaques, of which there are close to 250, not to mention the fact that some of the monkeys and apes have special ‘issues’ when it comes to feeding. Some were fed simultaneously to avoid fights. Others were fed away from their peers or their food will be snaffled by the pushier animals. Not to mention the ones that had to be fed slightly different diets or to be fed in different parts of the enclosure. All in all, there was a lot to remember, and I’m not sure that even after 3 weeks I ever got it completely right!

Working at the Quarantine

I spent my last couple of weeks working with the animals in quarantine. This turned out to be my favourite job of all, it was so peaceful. You get to work at your own pace. Best of all, the juveniles lived in an enclosure in quarantine. I got to watch the baby gibbons playing and spraying each other with water when I hosed down their enclosure. There was also a beautiful Siamang Gibbon called Marmi who lived in quarantine. She was very noisy and had a tendency to set every other gibbon in the centre off in song if someone she didn’t know came into the quarantine area.

Did I say it was peaceful? Well, perhaps not always! I’ve been back in England for 2 weeks now and I still miss the Rescue Centre and the friends I made, both human and animal. I particularly miss Sam, the long suffering pony that wanders around inside and out. Also the dogs that accompanied us on our walks into the village to use the internet. And not forgetting Elton, the mischievous Hornbill who was far too clever for his own good. I definitely plan to come back to the sanctuary again one day."

You can read more Globalteer Volunteer Reviews from Thailand by clicking here.

If you want to volunteer at the Thailand Animal Sanctuary with Globalteer then this project is for you!