Volunteer role at the project:
Volunteers work alongside local keepers to care for some of the bears currently at the rescue centre. Every day can vary but work could include:
- Preparing bear food and assisting the keepers to feed the bears
- Repairing and maintaining the enclosures
- Working with the keepers; cleaning the enclosures inside and outside
- Making enrichment items and activities for the bears. An enrichment activity is anything that makes the bears lives more interesting such as filling up hollow bamboo with honey or other treats, making frozen fruit ice lollies, rebuilding climbing frames, putting out dead trees etc.
Other tasks do not directly involve the bears but benefit them greatly, such as constructing new play areas, enrichments or weaving hammocks – bears love to climb!
How the project is making a difference:
Despite the fact that poaching and owning a bear as a pet are both illegal in Cambodia, bears are still targeting by pet traders, traditional medicine traders (bear bile being a highly priced commodity) and kept within the tourist industry.
The centre is home to both Sun and Moon Bears. Many have been confiscated from homes following years of mistreatment as pets, seized from the black market trades or freed from snare traps.
Due to mass deforestation in Cambodia, re-release is difficult and many bears have long term health problems. The project aims to give them a comfortable life at the centre; enclosures are large with lush local vegetation, climbing frames and pools and volunteers and staff work hard to provide a variety of enrichments on a daily basis.
The Bear rescue project also works with the local community to educate them on bears, teaching children from local schools about the importance of conservation and preservation of bears.
We are an award winning non-profit organisation arranging ethical, inspiring and supported volunteering opportunities around the world since 2001. Volunteers are needed from 2 - 12 weeks for animal, conservation, child care, education, teaching, building and community volunteering projects in Asia, Africa and Central & South America.
In this time of uncertainty during the current Coronavirus outbreak, we are monitoring the global situation closely in conjunction with the UK FCO and our local teams on the ground. The health and safety of our volunteers is our primary concern and we will only restart placements when it’s safe to do so. It’s not yet clear when this will be but we aren’t accepting new bookings for placements before 1 August 2020.
We want to reassure volunteers that you can feel confident booking an overseas volunteering placement with us and we have introduced extra flexibility to help with this.
Flexible payment terms
We are giving added flexibility on payments. Normally we ask for final payment by 8 weeks before start date, but we are reducing this to 1 month before start date for placements with start dates in 2020. This takes some pressure off volunteers and allows us to see how the situation evolves over the coming months.
Flexible date changes
If any of our volunteers want or need to reschedule (regardless of whether it is related to Coronavirus or not!), we are happy to reschedule for up to 18 months. You just need to let us know 1 month or more before your placement date and it can be open ended if you aren’t sure when you want to reschedule to. We are keeping this free of charge for maximum flexibility!
Booking flights – wait for now
We normally recommend that volunteers book flights as soon as possible after their placement is confirmed to secure the best deals, but with the current uncertainty, it’s best to wait until travel restrictions are lifted and the airlines can confirm their schedules before booking flights and making other arrangements.
We’d love to help organise your next volunteer adventure, ready for when the world has returned to some kind of normality!
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