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Peru Wildlife Internship

Peru

Founded in 2010, this purpose built wildlife rescue and rehabilitation facility has helped hundreds of animals return to the wild or find sanctuary in large natural enclosures, when prior injury precludes wild release. With one onsite vet and weekly visiting specialists, there is always ample work to be done at the sanctuary and amazing learning opportunities for vet and nurse students and graduates.

PROJECT HIGHLIGHTS


  • Work onsite with iconic species like spider monkeys, woolly monkeys, sloths, anteaters, small felines, otters, reptiles and birds.


  • Offsite work at a local animal facility will provide the opportunity to work with larger species like tapirs, jaguars and dolphins.


  • Help with treatments, medications and surgery of wildlife


  • Be a first responder to rescued and confiscated wildlife


  • Prepare food for rescued and rehabilitated animals  in quarantine and the nursery.


  • Help with management and enrichment, and see how this improves animal health


  • Assist with ongoing (or your own) research projects


  • Boat down the Amazon river, go tubing, jungle hiking and spending evenings with friends under the stary sky

Project video

Join our dynamic and fun team of vets, nurses and animal managers working in wild Peru at the forefront of conservation. This project has a two week rolling schedule and you can elect to join for up to 8 weeks. 


Peru is sadly badly affected by wildlife poaching, trading and smuggling and as a result animals will end up in the sanctuary after confiscation. The onsite veterinary team plays a vital role in assessing new animals, caring for sick and injured animals, coming up with treatment plans and carrying out research into behaviour, biology, and physiology. Those with an interest in veterinary medicine and nursing are welcomed to the sanctuary to develop knowledge of exotic

species, get hands on helping with treatments and support the sanctuary's great work. This project does also have an animal husbandry project for those not aiming for a career in medicine. Please contact us if you are interested in this.

KEY ACTIVITIES



The work on this project will vary between clinical assessments of animals in a "hands off" manner and a hands on manner. Where possible we do all routine checks without handling animals because it increases stress and between the sanctuary and the off site facility, we are responsible for checking over 1000 animals each week. When required we can restrain or anaesthetise wildlife for more thorough examinations and procedures.


During a normal week you will have a number of lectures on wildlife management, behaviour, rearing and medicine. We will do one or two visits for general veterinary check-up at the offsite facility and a handful of general veterinary check-ups at the sanctuary with the onsite vet. You will gain welfare management practice in adult animals with the lead of the Biologist (cleaning, feeding, observation, treatment if it is necessary) and learn to carry out species specific enrichment to maintain a happy population of animals. Work will include making food puzzles, adding structures, scents and toys to enclosures. When young orphans are at the sanctuary you will carry out welfare management and enrichment in the quarantine and nursery area with the lead of the on-site Vet. Work includes cleaning, feeding, observations and treatment if it is necessary.


Week 1:


Monday - Arrival and Welcome Tour and talk. 

Tuesday -  First induction and first lectures. Medical check up (anaesthesia, medical assessment, sampling, surgery if it is needed) with a local specialist in veterinary wildlife . 

Wednesday- Medical check up (anesthesia, medical assessment, sampling, surgery if it is needed) in local zoo. 

Thursday - Dart practice / Lab practice. 

Friday - Feeding , cleaning and enrichment for young animals in nursery. 

Saturday  - Feeding , cleaning and enrichment for adult animals. 

Sunday - Day off. Boating on the Amazon River and dolphins watching.


Week 2:

Monday – Medical check up (anesthesia, medical assessment, sampling, surgery if it is needed) in RAREC with on-site vet.

Tuesday- Veterinary lectures / Deworming calendar.

Wednesday- Medical check up (anaesthesia, medical assessment, sampling, surgery if it is needed) in a local zoo.

Thursday – Community dog and cat vaccination  or spay day.

Friday – Feeding , cleaning and enrichment for young animals in nursery.

Saturday  - Conservation lectures and discussion.

Sunday – Day off.


On site we have enclosures for endangered white bellied spider monkeys, Saki monkeys, woolly monkeys and 5 adult manatees living freely in a large lake in the rainforest. There is always a changing mix of species in the nursery and veterinary clinic which can include ant eaters, ocelots, otters, primates, sloths and tapir. The sanctuary also works closely with another premises about 30 minutes away to provide veterinary care for a much wider variety of species including a rescued pink Amazonian dolphin, hundreds of bird species, tapir, jaguars, monkeys, snakes and more.


Some days the vet team are rushed off their feet with sick and injured animals, other days the focus is on assessing new residents, and others aimed at ongoing work such as reviewing protocols, data input, and cleaning and reorganising the facilities. Whether you are rushing around the clinic, or researching cases, you will be learning the whole time. Volunteers are encouraged to remember that no 2 days are the same in wildlife work and this is especially true in developing countries where plans can change with very little warning and activities may run late, be rescheduled or even cancelled. We do always give you one day off a week though. A normal day could look like this:


6:00 am - 8:00 am Morning feeding of animals (vet volunteers can opt in to this activity if they wish)

08:00 am - 09:00 am Breakfast

09:00 am - 10:00 am Cleaning and feeding orphans 

10:00 am - 13:00 am Morning activities

13:00 am - 14:00 am  Lunch

14:00 md - 17:00 pm Afternoon activities

17:00 pm - 19:00 pm  Free time with dinner at 19:00


From time-to-time volunteers also assist with "community days", helping with medical exams and vaccinations for dogs and cats in the local village, and "teaching days" working at our onsite classroom, assisting with environmental education programs. Education for the community is an important part of the work, slowly improving cultural understandings of conservation and welfare, environmental preservation and combating the illegal wildlife trade.

Project Photos

ACCOMMODATION


Live in the middle of the rainforest, close to the animals in your care and the main buildings of the centre. The whole staff team lives on site so you will make great friends and have a social and fun experience. The accommodation is comfortable with permanent power all day, shared bedrooms, made of sustainably sourced material, for 2 or 4 people, with fans Mosquito nets in the windows and the beds. The bathrooms are shared, with warm water in the showers.


The kitchen and dining room are based outside, creating an authentic back-to-nature experience. There is an exterior recreation area with Wi-Fi, board games, hammocks, music, movie projector and hammocks. You can use the laundry room for free. We are able to cater for most dietary requirements, but sadly not for fully vegan diets. Larger holiday lodge cabins are available if you wish to upgrade your accommodation.

LOCATION


Peru is a beautiful country, probably most famous for hosting one of the 7 wonders of the world, Machu Picchu, home to an ancient civilisation and where today you can hike the Inca Trail. But did you know it is also home to Cerro Blanco, one of the world’s highest sand dunes, Lake Titicaca the world’s highest lake, and one of the world’s deepest canyons, Cotahuasi Canyon. With 90 microclimates it breaks the record for biodiversity, then of course there is the amazing flavour packed food and rich culture.


The project is based close to Iquitos, the only city in Peru where you can see the Amazon River pass by. This is the heart of the Amazonian rainforest, in the Northeast and it is inaccessible by road. The only way to travel to Iquitos is by air or boat. The project itself is based in the rainforest, providing a wonderful setting to live, work and relax. You will head to work each day through ancient trees, surrounded by wildlife, and enjoy life on the Amazon river in your free time.


PROJECT COST 


2 weeks: £882

3 weeks: £1093

4 weeks: £1407

5 weeks: £1590

6 weeks: £1878

7 weeks: £1980

8 weeks: £2242

Longer stays by request


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

  • Accommodation within the sanctuary

  • 3 hearty meals a day

  • Airport pick up and return

  • Pre-departure assistance as you book and plan your trip


OUR PRICES EXCLUDE:


  • Visas (free to most nationalities)

  • Personal medical insurance

  • Flights

START DATES


Volunteers fly in and out of Iquitos airport, arriving on a Monday and departing on a Sunday.  The start dates for this project are every 2nd week throughout the year. When we are less busy we can be flexible with arrival dates, so please let us know if you are unable to make the normal arrival dates. We will meet you at the airport and drive to the project and carry out your initial tour and induction.


2022 start dates:


7th and 21st November

5th and 19th December



2023 start dates:


9th and 23rd January

6th and 20th February

6th and 20th March

3rd and 17th April

1st and 15th and 29th May

12th and 26th June

10th and 24th July

7th and 21st August

4th and 18th September

2nd, 16th and 30th October

13th and 27th November

11th December


2024 start dates:


8th and 22nd January

5th and 19th February

4th and 18th March

1st, 15th and 29th April

13th and 27th May

10th and 24th June

8th and 22nd July

5th and 19th August

2nd, 16th and 23rd September

7th and 21st October

4th and 18th November

2nd and 16th December

Volunteer feedback

Brian Erinson

July 2022

"Peru is my new favorite place on earth. Being in the amazon was great, and I got to help with a jaguar procedure which was amazing. I learned a lot and will use those skills in my veterinary work"

Freya Burton

May 2022

"Just back from the best 2 weeks of my life. Me and my 2 friends from school wanted a genuine chance to make a difference and add something cool to our vet school CV's. This didn't disappoint. Boating on the amazon was a highlight, and caring for young injured sloths"

WHAT NEXT?


If joining us in Peru sounds like your dream adventure, this project is perfect for you.  If you think you can assist this project, please click the "apply now" button and we will be in touch with you shortly.

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