This project was established in 1995, with the primary aim to rescue and rehabilitate wildlife in distress in both urban and rural environments throughout India. The project rescues a number of orphaned, injured, and displaced wildlife found in cities and locations from wherever they are forced to work in India. Injured animals are given medical treatment and many are released back into the wild. Where this is not possible, permanent homes are provided for the animals at one of the project’s many rescue facilities.
As a volunteer with wildlife in India, you will have the opportunity to assist with the conservation and support of elephants at the project’s ethical rescue centres. Typical duties with the elephants include chopping fruit, feeding them, and going on walks.
Your first day at the project will consist of an orientation session and a full campus tour. The orientation will cover both logistical information regarding how the centre is run and educational material detailing the fundamentals of animal welfare and environmental basics. You will be trained and supervised by the experienced animal keepers at the project as well as the volunteer coordinator.
Each day is a little bit different and volunteer activities may include the following:
- Food prep for the elephants such as assisting keepers in cutting fruits, loading the food to trucks and making enrichment treats.
- Distribution of food to the elephants.
- Maintenance of the enclosures and facilities.
- Elephant observations.
- Enrichment structure construction.
- Gardening, planting vegetation, nursery maintenance and development.
- Knitting of coil rope for bear enrichments.
- Organisation of facility resources.
- Facility-wide mechanical assistance
- Painting and plumbing maintenance work.
- Removal of weeds.
If you are interested, you can also volunteer in the office, which could include:
- The organisation of the gift shop and visitor centre.
- Maintenance of the area around the education centre.
- Maintenance of the guest register and correspondence.
- Assisting short-term guests during their visits.
- Assisting with fundraising activities.
There is little about India that isn’t dazzling. It is a country that, by all accounts, maintains an incredible display of light and colour. In fact, two of the most well-known festivals, Diwali and Holi, celebrate this fact – in spectacular fashion. Amidst this light and colour, you’ll find a diverse collection of people, sometimes clustered together in the teeming cities and sometimes spread apart across more barren terrain. All in all, there are some truly breathtaking landscapes to behold. Time in India is, in all ways, a constant adventure. There is historic architecture to admire, tantalising food to taste, age-old spiritualities to embrace and an array of wildlife to cherish. Any time spent here will certainly be remembered forever.
All volunteers live together at one of 3 volunteer guesthouses. They are two-story houses each with 6 shared bedrooms. Each bedroom either has two or three beds and a saroom en-suite. There is also a kitchen and clothes washer, a dining area, and a relaxation area with couches and a TV. The houses also have wifi internet. You will receive three Indian vegetarian meals a day; a cooked lunch & dinner which are provided to you at the project site or volunteer house, and breakfast which is provided on a self-serve basis at the house.
The 3 volunteer houses are all located close to each other in Astha City, which is a suburb of Agra about 45 minutes from the city centre. You will be transferred to the elephant or bear centres for your volunteering each morning by car and back again in the afternoon.
Volunteers can join for a stay of 1 week (5 nights) or longer throughout the year.
For more details on how the programme works, dates, costs and how to apply, please visit our detailed project page here.