Volunteer on the Animal Rescue Team for a few days to a few weeks, and help injured, abandoned, and initially depressed wild animals, that have been found or confiscated, back on their feet and onto the path to recovery and reintroduction back into the forest where they belong. You will be taught to safely handle many species, help feed them, keep their enclosures clean and free of parasites, assist the resident vets with their rounds, and help plan and execute the safe reintroduction of animals back into their native habitat, and in some cases monitoring movement patterns of released individuals (having previously placed temporary locators on them).
We have teamed up with two other non-profits (Serpentario Tropifauna and Asociacion para la Conservacion de la Fauna Silvestre - ACOFAS) in order to help deal with the growing problem of wild animals that have been found abandoned, injured, or confiscated by the local authorities because they were being abused or were being ilegally trafficked out of the region to fuel the international trade in exotic pets.
Together, our objectives are to improve the facilities and processes at animal rescue centers in Puerto Maldonado to allow safe and humane care to be given to wild animals brought to these centers; to rehabilitate the animals; to reintroduce those animals that are fit enough to be sent back into the wild (and to find permanent homes for those that cannot); and to educate local people regarding the plight of these wild animals, especially those species that are being trafficked or held as pets in unfavourable conditions - in the hope that this will help stem the flow of animals towards these rescue centers.
We currently undertake this activity from the animal rescue center run by Serpentario Tropifauna and ACOFAS, which is located on the outskirts of Puerto Maldonado, the capital of the Madre de Dios region. We also team up with another two centers in order to boulster their animal rescue activities when required and when the main center is demmed full and cannot take any further animals.
A typical day on the animal rescue team involves waking up at our Puerto Maldonado office around 7 am, having breakfast with the office team, and then heading out on the 20 minute trip by tut-tut (motorized rickshaw) to the animal rescue center. On arrival you will be met by the team coordinator and you’ll join a meeting of the team to determine the activities for the day. The first activity usually consists of preparing the food dishes for the animals, each species of which requires a specific diet. This may also require you to head out into the vegetation around the grounds in order to catch grasshoppers and other invertebrates which are a more natural protein source for some of the residents, especially the monkeys and coatis. This is quickly followed by collecting data on the status of each animal, to gauge their appetite levels and general health. Any animals that appear to require veterinary assistance at this time are quarantined in readiness for the vet inspection. The construction of new enclosures and the maintenance of old ones is a late morning activity, that can also slide into the post-lunch period too. This includes painting and maintaining the signage around the center. If and when organized school groups arrive, you will help by taking out one or two of the non-venomous and docile snake species which can be used to provide the kids with a memorable close-up and educational experience, taking away with them a better knowledge of wildlife animals and their habitats. Having potentially assisted the team with analyzing data on the health of each individual towards the end of the working day, you will return to the Fauna Forever office around 4 pm. Once a month, those animals designated for release back into the wild, once their paperwork and veterinary checks have been completed, will be transported to the release site and given all the encouragement required to get them back into the wild.
1 Week (07 Days 06 Nights) - US$595
2 Weeks (14 Days 13 Nights) - US$980
3 Weeks (21 Days 20 Nights) - US$1,365
1 Month (30 Days 30 Nights) - US$1,740
costs (which we treat as a donation to the non-profit organisation) include
airport transfers (on arrival and departure); accommodation (in shared rooms);
main meals (including vegetarian options); clean drinking water (always); local
road and river transport to/from field sites (scheduled dates only); sheets,
pillow case, and mosquito nets; access to our office wifi (where available);
access to our library and equipment pool (e.g. GPS); orientation, field
training and supervision from our staff; participation certificate and future
reference letters (as required).
They do not include any flights; travel/health insurance (which is compulsory for all participants); taxis in Puerto Maldonado or Cusco (other than those used for scheduled trips to restaurants for meals); between meal snacks (cookies, sweets, etc.); and bottled beverages (Coca cola, Sprite, Fanta, etc.).
In 2017 and 2018, applicants for volunteer and intern positions will be free to choose the start and end dates that are most convenient for them, although we'd prefer start dates to coincide with a week day (Mon-Fri) if at all possible. On applying, please use the calendar to select these dates.