Laos Wildlife Internship

Laos

A unique project for vet and nurse students and graduates. The sanctuary is based in a small village 60km north of the capital, Vientiane. What once used to be a zoo has now been transformed into an animal conservation, rescue and rehabilitation facility and hosts over 50 species of wildlife needing care and attention. This is the first and only wildlife rescue center registered as a non-profit organization in Laos.

PROJECT HIGHLiGHTS


  • Assist with managing and caring for a wide variety of wildlife in an ethical and hands off manner


  • Work with elephant, sun bears, primates, pangolin, birds, and other species


  • Help the onsite vet each day


  • Carry out captures, relocations and immobilisations


  • Design medical management plans for captive species


  • Learn about wildlife monitoring, medicine and surgery


  • Help develop and design high welfare enclosures


  • Discover the Asian culture, foods and customs of beautiful Laos


You will work with the resident veterinarian and nurses carrying out daily duties including caring for animals in quarantine and hospital areas, performing daily health checks, providing treatment to inpatients and outpatients and assisting with emergency cases and surgeries. 


It is our mission to improve the lives of the animals that currently live here and transform the grounds into a world class rescue, rehabilitation and release center. As well as working alongside the vet and nurse, you will learn a great amount about husbandry and animal management, providing a stable foundation to build your knowledge upon.


Where possible, rehabilitated animals are released in protected areas throughout Laos but some victims of the illegal wildlife trade will have long term health issues preventing a wild future. If this is the case, we provide lifelong sanctuary and allow residents to live in natural environments with appropriate social groups, excellent nutrition, daily enrichment and world class veterinary care.

KEY ACTIVITIES


Our volunteers work between 8am and 5pm, six days a week, with one day off. The work can vary from fast paced emergencies to days carrying out research, elective procedures, diet regulation and husbandry work. Animals are frequently in poor condition when they are rescued, whether they have been fed inappropriate diets, trapped in tiny enclosures or hidden in vehicles to be smuggled across borders, so they often need intensive support and care on arrival.


Whilst we have a daily plan, which is outlined below, we ask volunteers to understand they are working in a developing country with wildlife rescue and as such the schedule can vary greatly. Activities may not go as expected, or may run late or need rescheduling. We ask all volunteers to be flexible, adaptable and eager to make the most of all the opportunities presented to them. As with all of our projects, the more you put in, the more you will gain from your stay.


08:00 Morning rounds: mornings start with animal rounds including medicating animals, changing dressings or bandages, carrying out health checks and updating records. Morning rounds can vary depending on how many animals have recently been rescued.


10:30 Break: take this time to fill your water bottle and relax for a short time before getting back to the animals.


10:45 Special projects: we strive to have the best management policies for our animals so carry out faecal egg counts, blood and saliva sampling of anaesthetized patients, dietary analysis and training animals for fear free and hands off sampling.


12:30 Lunch: take a well deserved break and enjoy eating in the communal living area or maybe take a short nap in the hammock by your bungalow.


13:30 Research or continuing morning projects: behavioural research, body condition scoring and pain analysis can occur in this session.


16:00 Medical rounds with the veterinary team.


17:00 Finished: The rest of the day is now your own. You can relax with the other volunteers, take a stroll to the local market, or relax in the hammock outside of your bungalow.

ACCOMMODATION


We have 5 beautiful modern raised bungalows for volunteers to stay in with 2 people per room. Each has a small balcony, providing a lovely outdoor space to be at one with nature. We try to maintain single sex rooms, with the exceptions of couples, friends and families. Fresh bed linen is provided when you arrive and can be changed during your stay if you are a long-term volunteer. We have two shower and toilet blocks, one for males and one for females, each fitted with western style toilets and two showers. During your stay, we ask volunteers to look after their own space by keeping your personal area tidy.


All meals are provided during your stay. Volunteers prepare their own breakfast in the volunteer house, we provide you with buffet style ingredients such as eggs, bread, jams, milk, butter/margarine, tea, coffee, and seasonal fresh fruit. Clean drinking water is also provided in a number of locations on-site for staff and volunteers. Lunch and dinner are predominantly traditional dishes, however we do have western cuisine nights. In keeping with our environmentally conscious outlook, we only serve vegetarian meals, although if you wish to eat meat you can purchase dishes at the local restaurant. 



LOCATION


Sparkling temples, lowland river valleys, coconut palms and Buddhist monasteries are just some unique scenes you will see in this beautiful country. The cuisine is inspiring, and the locals are some of the most welcoming in the world. The rescue center is in a fairly rural area of Laos in a village known as Ban Namark.


After work hours, volunteers can socialize in our volunteer house, watch a movie, have a bonfire or play games as well as have a few drinks and relax. There is a karaoke bar nearby that our staff and volunteers like to enjoy too! The local market is a great place to discover local foods and gifts and on days off we take volunteers to a nearby resort that has a pool and restaurant. This is a beautiful location on the banks of the Nam Ngum River where you can watch long boats travel down the river or see local fisherman getting their catch of the day.


PROJECT COST 


2 weeks: £1018

3 weeks: £1294

4 weeks: £1571

5 weeks: £1847

6 weeks: £2124

7 weeks: £2400

8 weeks: £2677

Longer stays by request


Want to know what is included? Great news, it’s almost everything including

  • Pre-departure assistance

  • Airport collection and returns

  • Accommodation in beautiful modern raised bungalows

  • 3 delicious meals a day

  • 24 hour support at the volunteer accommodation by onsite staff


OUR PRICES EXCLUDE:


  • Visa

  • Personal medical insurance

  • Flights

START DATES


Our coordinators pick-up volunteers in Vientiane every Sunday of the year from 09:30-10:00 am only. We only pickup on Sundays and in the morning to allow time for your volunteer orientation tour and allow you to get ready for your first full day on Monday. You will be returned to the airport on your day of departure. If you wish to arrive or depart Laos on different days, we can suggest accommodation for you to stay in and your pick up or drop off can be to these locations rather than the airport.

WHAT IF I CAN’T ATTEND DUE TO COVID?


Don’t fear! We have FLEXIBOOKINGS in place for all our projects. If you book a trip with us and have paid for the trip (deposit or in full), we have protocols in place to ensure you don’t miss out. Our main aim is for you to be able to attend your project in a safe and convenient manner so the FLEXIBOOKING system allows free and unlimited date changes if Covid prevents you from attending your planned trip. In the case of the following problems, you can reschedule until the end of 2023 at no cost. N.B if the project price rises between years, we will ask you to make up the difference before travel.


A) Your home country cancels flights to the project location, or your government advises against “all but essential travel” to the destination due to Covid.


B) Destination country cancels flights or closes borders to your home country due to Covid.


C) If you get Covid before travel or have a positive PCR test before your flight, wherever possible we aim to reschedule your project free of charge. In a few instances, the project may request a repayment of the non-refundable deposit, for example Safari Vet Internship project, where there are a set number of volunteers are needed to run the course.


If you choose to cancel your trip for other reasons, refund value depends on the time left until your project start date. Please contact us if you wish to discuss this further.

WHAT NEXT?


If joining us in Laos to help wildlife in need of medical care, attendion and management sounds like your dream trip, we want you! Be part of this amazing project, just fill in the form below and we will be in touch with you right away.

Project Photos