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Thai Elephant Sanctuary

Phetchaburi, Thailand

Thai Elephant Sanctuary
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Rescued Elephant Refuge

Project Information

Volunteer Type Volunteer

Cost of Project From $780 AUD

Duration 1 week - 3 months

Start Dates Sunday - Sunday, all year

Work Roster 6 days a week 6.30am - 5pm

Age Requirement 18 years of age


The elephant sanctuary gives refuge to domesticated elephants who have been rescued from a life of working on the streets or logging. Nearby forests give the elephants the opportunity to roam and forage in an (almost) natural environment.

The centre currently has approximately 18 elephants and is a perfect place for volunteers to learn “hands on” about elephant care and the plight of the wild and domesticated Thai elephants.

The centre aims to educate Thai people, particularly children, to end cruelty to animals. This is achieved through education programs held in schools and at the centre.

Staff campaign against the illegal wildlife trade and the use of animals for entertainment, for example the use of animals in live shows, elephant riding and the use of animals as photo props.

By educating local people, tourists and the international community to appreciate, understand and protect wild animals and their rainforest habitat, the centre hopes to promote the conservation of all natural resources, fauna and flora alike.

The elephant refuge is part of the larger wildlife sanctuary where there are currently over 400 rescued animals including 5 different species of macaque, 2 species of gibbon, civets, leopard cats, sun bears and Asiatic black bears, a crocodile, a binturong, exotic birds and over 250 primates.

  • Your Contribution

You will be responsible for feeding and watering the elephants, providing enrichments, taking them for walks and/or bathes, sourcing food from local farms and cleaning enclosures.

Other tasks may include the construction and maintenance work of cages and enclosures, keeping the centre's grounds clean, assisting with tours for visitors, planting trees and looking after other wildlife.

You will make a positive difference to the lives of the animals at the centre by caring for and enriching the lives of a variety of wildlife that have been rescued or handed in by the local people.

Special projects for long term volunteers include the care of orphaned baby primates, caring for animals in the quarantine area and taking part in animal rescues.

  • A Typical Day

You will be involved in the daily routine of caring for the resident elephants at the centre.

Animals are fed several times a day therefore food preparation and feeding plays a large part in caring for each animal.

Each day you will be provide entertainment by preparing food games and enrichments, enclosures require cleaning and the collection of discarded food is required.

Rotational tasks include keeping the volunteer house tidy, sweeping paths, kitchen duties and feeding, washing and grooming the resident dogs.

  • Skills Required

No specific skills are required other than a love for animals, a genuine need to help them and a hard working ethic.

You will need to be in good physical condition due to the nature of the work undertaken in a hot and humid environment.

You should be patient, caring, willing to accept new ideas and be prepared to be challenged by alternative cultural views on the treatment of animals.

  • Challenges

It can be very emotional work treating and caring for sick and abused animals so you should try to be prepared for this. Be rest assured that you are amongst like-minded people who are experiencing the same feelings and emotions as you and will be there to support you.

The work at the centre is both demanding and physical, especially in the hot months.

  • Accommodation

Basic shared rooms for 2-4 people on site at the centre.

  • Meals

Breakfast, lunch and dinner with vegetarian and vegan options.
Fresh, filtered water is provided.

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