Wildlife River Center

Alberta, Canada



The Experience

Venture into the foothills of the Rocky Mountains and enjoy the great opportunity to volunteer abroad with native Canadian Wildlife; from the smallest hummingbirds to the largest deer in the world: the moose!

This great volunteer project is located in the foothills of the Canadian Rockies where you will have the opportunity to rescue and rehabilitate orphaned and injured wildlife! This wildlife centre specializes in the care of both birds and mammals with the exception of large carnivores such as bear, wolves, and cougars. The work with the wildlife at the centre is physically demanding and by no means an easy holiday option. You are encouraged to stay at least three months but shorter or longer placements can be arranged. Keep in mind that the shorter your stay, the fewer species you will work with and experiences you will have. 


This Is Why

  • Rescue, rehabilitate, and release native North American wildlife. Be an important part of a charity operating in Alberta for the welfare of wildlife and the environment
  • Work in one the most beautiful landscapes in North America
  • Offer you opportunities to learn and grow! Also, provide opportunities to visit local attractions, hike, bike, swim, canoe, or enjoy a campfire in your free time!

Project Details
  • Key Start Dates
    April - September( Try to book early in advance to be assured a placement)
  • Package Price

    08 weeks: $1,395 US
    10 weeks: $1,495 US
    12 weeks: $1,595 US
  • Volunteer duration
    8 - 12 weeks (Shorter or longer durations also available upon request)
  • Average Work hours
    You will work alongside the full time staff whatever hours are needed to care for the patients in the wildlife hospital. The most busy time of year is June – August. The more efficiently you work, the more free time you will have. Every effort will be made for you to shop, visit tourist attractions, and enjoy barbecues by the fire.
  • Number of Volunteers
  • Volunteer accommodation
  • Housing Type
    Dorm style in a mobile home style building. You will share a room with one other person and the mobile home can house up to four people.
  • Internet Access
    Available but restricted.
  • Who Are They Looking For?
    They are seeking hard-working, honest, team players looking to learn, have fun, and be a part of a busy wildlife hospital and education centre. The more effort you put in the more you will get out of the experience.

Fast Facts: Canada

Where? North America, Canada

Country Size: 9,984,670 km2
3,854,085 sq mi

Population density? 3.41/km2
8.3/sq mi

Country Famous for? Bears, Root Beer, Rocky Mountains, Skiing, Niagara waterfalls, Pacific rainforest, friendly people

When to visit: All year round, skiing and dog sledding in winter and hiking and wildlife viewing in summer

  • What's Included
    • Placement
      Wild life rehabilitation centre – Wildlife River Center
    • Hostel Package

      1 nights of hostel in Calgary upon arrival
    • Transfer Round trip

      Round trip transfer from Calgary Airport to the project and back. The transfer bus leaves at 12:30, 14:30 and 19:00 so be sure to make this in mind when booking your flight.
    • Accommodation
      SDorm style in a mobile home style building. You will share a room with one other person and the mobile home can house up to four people. You are expected to keep the home clean at all times. (MEALS NOT INCLUDED)
    • Pick up & drop off
      An employee of the volunteer project will pick you up from the nearest bus station. On your way back they will drop you off at the nearest bus station.
    • Mail-holding service
      You can use FRONTEERINGS office as a reliable address to have your mail delivered
    • Ongoing service
      If there are any problems with your volunteer project we are always there to help you and mediate between yourself and the organization.
    • Tours
      Through FRONTEERING you have the possibility to book tours in Canada after you have finished your volunteer project.
    • 24/7 Emergency contact
      If there are any problems during you stay in Vancouver you can reach us 24/7 to assist you.

    What's not included: Flights, Insurance, Meals, Airport pick up

    Package Price:
    08 weeks: $1,395 US
    10 weeks: $1,495 US
    12 weeks: $1,595 US

    Wildlife River Centre is a wildlife rehabilitation centre with a strong education and volunteer focus. The Centre has operated provincially since 1984 providing care for over 1300 wild patients annually, all who have been injured by human intervention in the environment.  The Centre also operates a 24hr phone line, presents up to 200 education programs annually, offers volunteer and student opportunities, provides internships for international young people, invites visitors to its interpretive centre and nature trail and works in cooperation with numerous agencies, organizations and individuals to achieve its goals.
    • Feed and care for the animals
    • Build and maintain animal enclosures
    • Assist with capture and release
    • Educate the public

    The Centre’s education programs come in many forms but all have the intent to connect people to our wild heritage and to empower people to make a difference in their world.  We offer in-school programs, speak at conferences, present information at community groups and display booths, welcome visitors to our Interpretive Centre during summer months, field trips to our Centre, telephone support, information on our web page, student summer positions, practicum positions, international volunteer positions, handouts and one-on-one education with members of the public who bring patients into the hospital.


    You will be considered one of the staff during your stay and your jobs will include feeding, food preparation, cleaning, laundry, administering treatment, participating in building projects, assisting with research programs, helping in the public wing, etc. Working at a Wildlife Rehabilitation Center can be very intense at times because of the hours they sometimes have to keep. With any luck, you will be working an eight hour day, but at times it can be up to 12 hours, depending on the number of admissions and their problems. Volunteers will be expected to be involved in all aspects of the centre. Volunteers and Interns are the backbone of the organization. It is these individuals, who give freely of their time, that make caring for all the animals possible. The wildlife shelter is run by a dedicated group of volunteers.

  • Requirements, Guidelines & Policies
    • Required to commit to a minimum of 8 weeks (longer durations required to take care of the bears)
    • Must complete 2-4 days of training and shadow a senior volunteer before starting independent shifts
    • NO SMOKING is allowed on the property.
    • Strong work ethics are required: reliable, responsible, honest, good sense of humour, dependable, physically and mentally fit.
    • Age: 18-30
    • No animal allergies
    • The care of animals must be secured around the clock and work may include night shifts
    • Extreme Weather (heat & cold), dirt and living in a remote area must be something you can handle.
    • A love for animals and some general experience of caring for an animal is a must!
    • Must read and agree to abide by guidelines and ethics
    • Proof of current tetanus shot & medical insurance; Good physical stamina and health
    • Good communication skills and the ability to work alone
    • Good knowledge of the English
    • Patient and comfortable around mammals and birds
    • A valid driver’s license would be an asset, but is not required
  • Volunteer Benefits
    • A unique opportunity to work closely with wildlife and participate in offering them a chance of survival.
    • Expand knowledge and skills in animal care
    • The Centre offers many things such as free accommodations and the use of wireless internet, canoes, camping equipment, mountain bikes, staff car(you will provide your own fuel), barbeque and fire pit and a wide range of learning experiences.
    • You will also have the great opportunity to learn about Western Canada, Alberta’s wildlife and First nations and practice your English.
  • Fast Facts
    • Project location

      Alberta, Canada

    • Area Famous For
      Great Prairie, Rocky Mountains, Lake Louise, Glaciers,  First nations culture, dinosaur fossils, cowboys, Calgary Stampede, Edmonton Mall, Skiing/snowboarding, rafting
    • When to visit
      March - October
    • Wildlife viewing
      Excellent it's close location to the Rocky Mountains and the Great Prairie gives opportunities to view bears, wolves, elk, moose and to northern plains near Edmonton even Bison (buffalo).
  • Itinerary & Details
    Day 1 - Arrive in Calgary;
    You will arrive in Calgary city of the Stampede festival and travel through Beautiful Alberta by bus to the nearest town of the Volunteer station. We will arrange your transfer for you from the airport. Keep in mind that buses leaves at 12:30, 14:30 and 19:00. You will be picked at the nearest bus stop by one of the volunteer’s stations staff member. 
    Day 2 - Transfer to the wildlife rehabilitation centre
    You will travel through Beautiful Alberta by bus to the nearest town of the Volunteer station. You will be picked at the nearest bust stop by one of the volunteer’s stations staff member.
    For 8-12 weeks - Help, rescue and rehabilitate orphaned and injured animals!
    For the coming 2-3 months you will have a great time working directly with many different kind of animals while be surrounded by beautiful mountain ranges, prairie and nature!
    Your last day - you will transfer back to Calgary to take a flight back home. Of course it is possible to extend your stay in Canada and travel around or visit other cities; we can help you with trips and/or accommodation you would like to arrange.
  • Accommodation

    YDorm style in a mobile home style building. You will share a room with one other person and the mobile home can house up to four people. You are expected to keep the home clean at all times.

    Things to bring from home

    • Clothes for cold temperatures as well as for summer for warm temperatures. Make these clothes are allowed to get dirty. Make sure to bring gloves, a toque and warm socks with you.
    • Comfortable walking shoes are essential, and you should also pack a raincoat and some sun block
    • Linen and towels will be provided.


    You will need to buy your own food and prepare your own meals. You will be privided with transport to go to one of the nearest grocery stores between 10 - 45 minute drive.


    The center is located in a nice community between the Great prairies and Rocky Mountains. There are lots of opportunities for outdoor activities and wildlife viewing as well as several towns nearby.

I had a really good time volunteering at the Wildlife River Center! My plans for august and the first week of september have fallen through and i wondered if you have a another wildlife centre i could join? As you know i already have my visa, so all i would need to do is arrange my flights

Guy From The UK



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