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Volunteering with animals in Thailand: Elephant Refuge and Wildlife Rescue Center

Volunteering with animals in Thailand: Elephant refuge and Wildlife rescue center

Elephant Refuge and Wildlife Rescue Center

Would you like to work as a volunteer with animals in their natural habitat? This package combines two amazing volunteer projects in Thailand where you as volunteer can help and contribute to the well-being of the rescued animals. During a period of minimum two weeks, you will help as a volunteer in the Wildlife Rescue Center and Elephant Refuge in Thailand.

Travel to Thailand
One of the biggest draws of Thailand is its diverse range of activities and attractions. Whether you're an adrenaline junkie looking to catch some waves while surfing in Phuket, a nature lover eager to explore the lush jungles of Khao Yai National Park, or a history buff fascinated by ancient temples like Wat Arun and Wat Phra Kaew, Thailand has something to offer for everyone. Another great thing about Thailand is the opportunities it offers for cultural immersion. Take a cooking class and learn how to make traditional Thai dishes like pad thai and tom yum soup, or visit a local night market to sample the country's famous street food. You can even volunteer at a wildlife conservation project or spend time in a hill tribe village to get a deeper understanding of Thai culture and make a positive impact on local communities.

Two volunteer projects combined

The Wildlife Rescue Center and Elephant Refuge are two projects run by the Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand. Some of the main objectives of the WFFT are to: 

  • rescue maltreated and/or neglected animals
  • provide refuge for sick and disabled animals
  • rehabilitate and reintroduce animals to the wild where possible and care for those who are unable to be returned. 

This is exactly what you will encounter on both volunteer projects. You can choose which project you would like to start as a volunteer and then afterwards continue to the next project. We would advise you to start volunteering in the Wildlife Rescue Center project and later continue to the Elephant Refuge, as the working days are longer and more intense. 

Wildlife Rescue Center

The Wildlife Rescue Center is home to a variety of rescued birds and other animals such as gibbons, macaques, lorises, sun and moon bears, civets, and other felids. The center tries to provide them with enclosures that match their natural habitat as close as possible to rehabilitate the animals. Where possible they will be reintroduced to the wild.

Volunteering with animals in Thailand | KILROY

What are your tasks as volunteer?

As a volunteer at this project, you will spend the majority of your time on preparing and serving the food to the animals and cleaning their enclosures. Besides this, you will also help with the maintenance of the animal enclosures and facilities on the project. The Wildlife Rescue Center does not support "hands on" contact with animals, so as volunteer you will not have any physical contact with the animals (unless explicitly permitted by a staff member).  

Every morning you will be assigned different tasks. These tasks can consist of:

  • preparing and serving of food to the different animals 
  • cleaning the animal enclosures
  • general maintenance
  • reparations to fences and animal facilities.

Even though a big focus of the project is to give the animals a life as close to nature as possible and possibly reintroduce them to the wild, some animals will never leave the center. They would unfortunately not be able to survive in the wild and will spend the rest of their lives in the center. 

Volunteering with animals in Thailand | KILROY

Elephant Refuge

Besides giving refuge to domesticated elephants, many of the animals that stay at the Elephant Refuge have been rescued from a life in which they were trained and forced to work on the streets as begging tools and tourist attractions, where they had to entertain tourists by performing tricks. Many of the rescued elephants are in a bad state when they arrive at the center and they often need to receive medical attention.

Volunteering with animals in Thailand | KILROY

The forested land around the rescue centre gives the rescued elephants the chance to roam around in near-natural surroundings. The large elephant enclosures are up to 18 hectares each and are filled with trees native to the elephants natural habitat as well as lakes and grazing areas. This gives the elephants the space to freely move around and socialise with other elephants. At WFFT, they are given the chance to find happiness and friendship.

What are your tasks as volunteer?

As a volunteer at the elephant project, you will be taught everything you need to know about the care of these magnificent animals. During the project, you will work hands-on with the elephants and some of the tasks you will get as a volunteer are: 

  • collecting and harvesting food for the elephants - this is hard physical work
  • feeding them throughout the day
  • creating enrichments for the animals
  • cleaning and maintaining their enclosures.

Every working day is different, although there are some tasks that will have to be performed daily. In the evenings you are free, so you can either stay at the center for dinner and relax or go to Hua Hin or Cha' Am with some of the other volunteers. 

Volunteer with animals in Thailand | KILROY

Elephant Refuge & Wildlife Rescue Center
Location: Bangkok Duration: min. 15 days Price: from €645
More info

What's included in the price?

  • 1 week Wildlife Rescue Center
  • 1 week Elephant Refuge
  • Training and guidance at both of the projects
  • All accommodation
    • 3/4 pax dorm room
  • Daily breakfast, lunch and dinner
    • Lunch and dinner prepared by cooks
  • Financial contribution to the projects for the care of the animals
  • Free WiFi


  • Flight tickets are not included in the price
  • Pick-up transfer to the project is available
  • You need to be minimum 18 years old to be able to partcipate at this project

Ready to get your hands dirty?

We get it if you're totally ready to hop on a plane to Thailand now, so let us help you plan it! We know all the ins and outs to make your journey the best it can be. Whether it's finding the right volunteering project, or simply a backpacking adventure through South-East Asia, we will help you get there. 

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