About the Wildlife Rescue Project
The Wildlife Rescue Centre is located in the Northern part of the island Sulawesi in Indonesia. This particular location is a hot-spot for the smuggling of wildlife out of Indonesia onto the global market via the Philippines. Animals from all over the vast Indonesian archipelago have suffered this trade route. The Rescue Centre helps the authorities tackle this crime. They also take care of the wildlife confiscated from this trade.
Volunteering at the Wildlife Rescue Centre thus involves work with various wild animals from the region. Tasks can include feeding the animals and providing browse from various vegetation to the animals. In the wild, animals constantly interact with plants for nourishment and entertainment. Volunteers simulate this experience by providing browse to the captive wildlife twice a day. You could also be making enrichment for the animals to stimulate and find methods to address potential concerns about the captive wildlife’s behaviour, and their physical and psychological welfare. It is also an important part of the daily activities for volunteers to observe the animals, and pay attention to any potential abnormal behaviour.
Volunteers will work 5½ days a week, having one personal day off and one communal afternoon off a week. The communal day off is typically for organising excursions to some of the many places of cultural and natural interest in the area. The working day usually starts very early at 6am and ends around 4pm, and after that your time is your own. During this time, you will have both a long breakfast and lunch break. After 4pm, the animals are left alone and undisturbed, which means volunteers cannot enter the rescue centre after this time. The only exception for this are the volunteers who need to go feed the Slow Loris at night (around 7pm). As these are nocturnal animals, they need their food later in the day.
Volunteers should be prepared for a change in the schedule that might occur due to current needs. Volunteers thus might be asked to help prepare an enclosure for a new arrival, take a trip to assist on the Turtle Beach project or even defrost the enrichment freezer. Also on any given day, the project might receive recently rescued wildlife with almost no notice; wildlife may become sick and need specific care; a storm might bring down or damage a fence and it needs repairing; trees and seedlings might need to be planted; a local might arrive at the gate with a rare animal to hand over; or a local school might visit with 70 pupils on the education programme.
Applicants should be at least 18 years of age. Have a fairly good level of physical fitness, and speak English fluently. The ability to endure challenging and hot conditions are essential. This is because work takes place in a jungle environment. Here, the humidity is high with bugs and insects prone in the area.
Safety on the Project
Please be aware that this project includes working with wild animals. Thus adherence to the Safe Distance Policy is crucial. The Safe Distance policy is simply about always keeping a safe distance of two arms lengths from the wildlife. Failure to adhere to this could result in being dismissed from the project.
Wildlife does not naturally seek human interaction. Because our organisation partner operates according to the five freedoms of animal welfare, they do not unnecessarily handle wildlife. They want to give them the possibility to express their natural behaviour. Only clinic staff or keepers will be able get close in exceptional cases. Also, viruses and bacteria can be transmitted to humans through bite wounds and scratches. Even through contact with faeces, saliva and urine. For that reason, volunteers cannot touch, pet or hand feed any of the animals at the centre.
In the afternoons after finishing work, volunteers are free to relax in the house or go enjoy the surroundings. There are several options. These include going to the beach to snorkel and swim, climbing the viewing tower to relax or read, practise yoga or go to the gym in the nearby town Bitung, catch up with people at home on the local internet café or hang out at the local coffee house etc.
On the day off, volunteers can arrange their own day trips. Volunteers can easily arrange their own local outings as there are a variety of day trips available. Options could be Manado town and surroundings, Tomohon market or mount Mahawu.
Also, don’t miss some of the best diving and snorkelling places in the world. Special rates are available for volunteers at the project. There are also discounts for volunteers who wish to follow a PADI diving course.
Usually, there is a group excursion or activity planned every week on the free afternoon which volunteers can join. Activities can include a visit to Tangkoko Nature Reserve, where one has a good chance of seeing tarsier, hornbills and crested macaques, a walk through nearby ravine to a bat cave, when in season, or regular trips to the sea turtle conservation programme are organised for visitors and volunteers.