Volunteering with Wildlife
In this Blog post we will talk about a few things to keep in mind when chosing your wildlife volunteer abroad project or opportunity.
Volunteering with wildlife is growing more popular each year on the hand and is needed more than ever on the other! That is great of course but where to find a rewarding project and what to look out for? There are many wildlife volunteer projects offered around the world, most notably in Africa.
Before signing up for a project it is good to ask the organization a few questions:
- What is the goal of the organization?
- How does it benefit and employ the local people?
- How sustainable is the project?
- Will I be able to make a difference (no matter how small)?
- Where does the money go?
Unfortunately throughout the world (mainly in developing countries) many wildlife sanctuaries are set up simply as small zoo’s to attract volunteers and have the volunteers take care of the animals purely to make money as the volunteer will have to pay a weekly fee to volunteer at the organization. Without the volunteers the sanctuary probably would not exist and the animals might even still be in the wild instead.
It is important to make sure before your sign up for a project that the projects goal is in the animals best interest and not to entertain volunteers and tourists. Therefore look for organization that rehabilitates their wildlife and release the animals back in to the wild or conducts research to help with conservation and long term sustainability.
For more information about volunteering abroad with wildlife in Canada, the USA and Guyana check our Fronteering wildlife volunteer abroad projects