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Animal Care at a Wildlife Park in Borneo, Malaysia

Get up close and personal with Borneo’s native wildlife

Animal Care at a Wildlife Park in Borneo, Malaysia
From £2595
Duration 28 Days
From £2595
Duration 28 Days
You'll assist the Keepers to care for the animals in Lok Kawi Wildlife Park. You'll learn about animal care across a variety of species, but working mainly with Elephants, Primates and Hoofstock.

Get up close and personal with Borneo’s native wildlife and threatened species. Many species are endangered and so the Wildlife Park has a very important role in educating the public in conservation and awareness of environmental issues. You’ll work with Elephants, orang-utans, monkeys, tigers, bears, leopards, otters, rhinos, deer, birds and more.

Travellers and the Sabah Wildlife Department have arranged a structured programme at Lok Kawi Wildlife Park which will allow volunteers the opportunity to learn about animal care across a variety of species. Your role will be to assist keepers in their daily duties in looking after the animals. Of course, not all of the animals are tame and therefore you’ll only be allowed hands-on contact with some of the animals. Generally, though, at Lok Kawi, keeper and animal interaction is an important part of keeping the animals well looked after and healthy.

You will assist on a rotation system in the Elephants area, the Primates (Orang-Utans and Monkeys) & Reptiles area, and the Birds & Hoofstock area:

The baby elephants at Lok Kawi were rescued from the wild during separate poaching incidents which resulted in their mothers being killed. They have been in contact with humans since a very young age as they had to be bottle fed.  All Elephants at Lok Kawi are Pygmy Elephants, but their population and habitat is dwindling due to human intervention. Conservation and understanding of Borneo’s Elephants is incredibly important as they are critically endangered. You may assist the elephant keepers with the following tasks:

  • Cleaning enclosures
  • Preparing food/milk
  • Bottle feeding and washing the baby elephants
  • Reporting to the veterinarian on behaviour/eating patterns
  • Taking the baby elephants to the Children’s Zoo and assisting with visitor interaction/safety.
  • Inspecting animals for different behaviour or signs of illness and report to the veterinarian/other staff where necessary.

Primate species at Lok Kawi include Orang-Utans, Proboscis Monkeys and Gibbons. In this area you’ll also look after some of the other small mammals at the park. Both Orang-Utans and Proboscis Monkeys are native to Borneo and both are facing the threat of extinction due to loss of habitat and human intervention.

Visitors are not allowed interaction with the Orang-Utans but as a volunteer you will be involved in some of the behind the scenes duties. The Orang-Utans at Lok Kawi will not be released but will remain in captivity to raise awareness of conservation issues to the public.

Proboscis Monkeys are very unusual, with round protruding bellies and huge, pink, pendulous noses – in males the longer the nose the better for attracting a female mate! They live in groups high up in the trees and usually close to a water source. You will be fascinated watching their interactions with each other – these clever primates can even swim! Currently there are several baby proboscis monkey’s that have been born in the Wildlife Park.

You may assist with the following duties within the Primates section:

  • Cleaning enclosures
  • Preparing food and feeding
  • Moving orang-utans from the night stalls to their outside enclosures
  • Handling other primates when required
  • To assist with feeding time at the exhibits and talk to visitors about the various different primates
  • Inspecting animals for different behaviour or signs of illness and report to the veterinarian/other staff where necessary.

Walking into the Aviary is like stepping into the middle of the jungle! The forest canopy is covered with a mesh that is so high that you barely even notice it hovering above the trees. A wooden walkway leads you through the Aviary and across a stream where birds can be seen fishing and wading in the mud. Talking parrots will greet you ‘hello’ and you may even be lucky enough to spot a mouse deer foraging in the vegetation. You may assist with the following duties within the Main Aviary, the Macaw Aviary, the Myna Aviary and the Hornbill Aviary:

  • Cleaning enclosures thoroughly to provide a clean environment for the birds
  • Preparing food
  • Maintaining records of the number of birds that come to the feeding platform and reporting anything abnormal to the veterinarian/other staff
  • To assist with feeding time and talk to visitors about the various different birds.

In the Hoofstock area you’ll assist with Rhino, Cattle (Anchole and Bali), Axis and Deer (Timor, Red, Barking and Mouse). You may assist with the following duties:

  • Moving animals from night stalls to enclosures.
  • Inspecting animals for different behaviour or signs of illness and report to the veterinarian/other staff where necessary.
  • Cleaning enclosures thoroughly to ensure a clean environment for the animals.


Your accommodation has been arranged for you at a small local resort which is just a short walk (approximately 2 mins) to the wildlife park where you will be volunteering. The resort has a wonderful traditional outlook and the feel of a small authentic village, with a cluster of wooden chalets nestled amongst beautiful tropical grounds. The venue has a lovely, sociable atmosphere and sometimes hosts traditional weddings. If you’re lucky enough to witness these, it’s a must-see to experience the colourful, flamboyant and lavish celebration that takes place.

You’ll have your own private room, with an ensuite shower room and air conditioning. There are no laundry facilities at the resort, however the staff are willing to provide a laundry service for our volunteers at a small charge, or you can wash your own clothes in your room.

Wifi / Internet: Available at the reception area of the resort. Internet is also available during office hours in the Sabah Forestry Department, located at the entrance to the Wildlife Park.

FOOD: All of your meals are provided at the resort’s restaurant. Bottled water can be bought in bulk from the nearest town to store in your room. Alternatively, there is a kettle in your room for boiling up water.


  • An exciting opportunity to travel, see the world and experience a foreign culture first-hand.
  • New skills, more confidence and invaluable personal and professional development.
  • The enormous satisfaction of helping displaced animals and an in-depth understanding of the important contribution their protection is making to wildlife conservation.
  • An opportunity to take a break from the traditional academic track or your current career path in order to gain life experience and global cultural awareness
  • An entry on your CV or Résumé that will enhance your career opportunities and make you stand out from the crowd.
  • Make friends, form relationships and build memories that will last a lifetime.
  • Opportunities to enjoy some exciting adventure and cultural activities while on your programme.
  • And best of all … an unforgettable experience!


Talk to us – We’re there to help you. Most of our team are ex Travellers volunteers and are ideally qualified to offer advice and guidance because they know what you’re looking for. They’ll help you find your perfect project – and then make it all happen!

If you’d like to apply for this project. Visit our website and complete the application form. As soon as we receive it, we’ll liaise with you and then start making your travel adventure happen. It’s as easy as that.

What's Included

  • Food
  • Accommodation
  • Transfers
  • Arranging your Programme
  • Full pre-departure support and assistance
  • Funds Protection Insurance
  • Meeting you at the Airport
  • Transfer and return to your Project site
  • In-country team support
  • 24-hour emergency support
  • Certificate of Completion
Experience Volunteering
Region South East Asia
Country Malaysia

Travellers Worldwide

YOUR ADVENTURE STARTS HERE! Help children, animals and conservation around the world. Gain valuable work experience and new skills. All ages & nationalities welcome. EXPLORE a new culture from the inside on worthwhile, well-structured projects. FLEXIBLE: From two weeks to one year - you choose your dates and duration.
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