The Bear Rescue team in Cambodia care for over 120 rescued Sun Bears and Moon Bears that have experienced mistreatment.
You will work with the local keepers to help with duties such as feeding the bears, providing enrichments, and maintaining the enclosures. As many of the bears suffer from long term health problems, re-releasing them into the wild is difficult. Volunteers help the team to create a comfortable life for the bears which replicates the wild as closely as possible. The project works with the local community to promote the importance of conserving and raising awareness of the threats facing the species.
Explore the nearby bustling city of Phnom Penh that has beautiful temples and palaces and is steeped in history.
What will I be doing?
The project aims to provide the rescued Sun Bears and Moon Bears at the centre a comfortable life. Many of the bears unfortunately suffer from long term health problems, or are unable to be re-released due to mass deforestation in Cambodia. The enclosures are large with vegetation, climbing frames and pools. Volunteers are supervised by the experienced animal keepers at the centre, working together to care for over 120 bears currently at the rescue centre.
Each day will differ and volunteer tasks include:
- Preparing food and assisting the keepers to feed the bears
- Repairing and maintaining the enclosures
- Working with the keepers to clean the enclosures
- Making enrichment items and activities for the bears. An enrichment activity is anything that makes the bears’ lives more interesting such as filling up hollow bamboo with honey or other treats, making frozen fruit ice lollies, rebuilding climbing frames, putting out dead trees etc.
Other tasks do not directly involve the bears but benefit them greatly, such as constructing new play areas or weaving hammocks – bears love to climb!
Why are volunteers needed?
The sanctuary employs full time Khmer staff to support the bears, however many of the roles are labour intensive and there is always more to be done; whether it is fixing or expanding an enclosure, creating a new enrichment idea or simply helping with the daily duties.
International volunteers also help the sanctuary get their message out to other tourists and travellers in Cambodia and increase the knowledge of the threats facing these species.