"The work I did on the project was essential for the everyday running of the sanctuary and enables them to save more animals that need it" - read about Benjamin's experience on our Thailand Animal Rescue project.
1) Why did you choose this particular project?
I picked this particular project because I wanted to travel to Thailand and it sounded like a perfect project which actually helped animals.
2) Which kind of work and activities did you do during your project?
During the project I prepared and fed the animals, cleaned enclosures, prepared and handed out enrichment.
3) How did the culture and people differ to home? What were the local people like?
I didn't experience much of the culture during this project and didn't have many encounters with the locals. However when I did go into the local village and markets everyone seemed friendly and interested as to why I was there and what work I was doing at the sanctuary.
4) What was the accommodation like?
My room was very basic and I shared a western style bathroom which only had cold water but this was all I really needed! There was a brilliant bar and eating area where everyone gathered at meal times and in the evening which was brilliant for socialising and relaxing.
5) What were the staff and other volunteers like?
They were all friendly and helpful throughout the project, keen to answer questions and to make sure you have the most enjoyable experience. The other volunteers were all so friendly and I made some amazing friends for life!
6) What was your most amazing moment or your best memory?
My most amazing experience was getting to interact with the playful young orangutan called Maggie.
7) Do you feel the work you were doing was worthwhile?
The work I did on the project was essential for the everyday running of the sanctuary and enables them to save more animals that need it.
8) What sort of wildlife did you encounter?
I encountered an orangutan, elephants, gibbons, macaques, sun bears, Asian black bears, crocodiles, otters, macaws, hornbills, slow lorises, pigs, turtles, tortoises, leopard cats, owls and many other species.
9) What were you hoping to learn while on project, and have you achieved those goals?
I was mainly hoping to get some experience actually working in the industry and helping wildlife rather then just volunteering in a zoo. I study conservation and biodiversity at university and this project helped me gain the experience I wanted.
10) Any tips and advice you might like to pass on to future volunteers?
I would say just go ahead and do it! I was so worried about traveling on my own and doing this project but I'm so glad I went ahead and did it. I had the most amazing and enjoyable experience.
11) What do you have planned next?
I plan to return to university in September to complete my second year.