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Amazon Animal Sanctuary

The Amazon, Ecuador

Amazon Animal Sanctuary
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Animal Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre

Project Information

Volunteer Type Volunteer

Cost of Project From $1200 AUD

Duration Minimum 2 weeks

Start Dates Quito orientation: Monday - Friday.
Project start: Monday, all year

Work Roster Monday - Friday: 8am to 6pm
Saturdays: 8am to 11am

Age Requirement 18 years of age


This project is an animal rescue and rehabilitation centre in the Amazon jungle working in partnership with the indigenous Quichuan community. It provides a unique opportunity to actively work in an animal care and rehabilitation program that operates in collaboration with the Environmental Police (UPMA) and the Ministry of Environment.

The centre’s main goal is to rescue wild animals from unhealthy and illegal situations that have been the victims of animal-trafficking or mistreatment and enrich their existence as best they can in captivity.

Open since 2006, the project operates on over 60 private hectares of primary Amazon forest where some of the animals live in excellent enclosures or on islands. Other animals have behavioural enrichment while they are in rehabilitation and can be released into a National Park or an area suitable for their species. The most commonly trafficked groups of animals are primates, birds and reptiles.

  • Your Contribution

Volunteers contribute by caring for the centre wildlife including birds, turtles, primates and wild cats. Most of the animals have been rescued, confiscated or surrendered wildlife that have been raised as illegal pets. As domesticated animals, it is often not possible to release them, so the centre's staff and volunteers provide ongoing housing and care for them.

  • A Typical Day

The day is well planned and structured and each volunteer is allocated a section of the centre to care for that day. Cleaning and feeding schedules are clearly posted and explained to all volunteers along with kitchen duties.

Volunteers are encouraged to get involved with new ideas and projects towards animal enrichment and wildlife research in the area.

  • Skills Required

It is important that you are physically fit, enthusiastic and have a great love for animals. The climate is warm and humid. The atmosphere is of great communal living and meals are often shared with the local workers and owners of the project.

  • Challenges

It can get quite hot and humid in the jungle setting. You will get dirty and sweaty so take plenty of changes of pants and tops.

Some of the wildlife and birds of prey are omnivores or carnivores. This requires preparation and handling of meat or carcases. Live feeds are practiced as a way to provide these animals with a natural feeding activity as they would in the wild. Volunteers may choose not to participate in this type of feeding if they so wish. Volunteers are not expected to contribute to any activity that makes them uncomfortable and should discuss this with staff at the project.

  • Accommodation

Volunteers share bungalow style quarters with 1 or 2 other volunteers sleeping in bunk beds. The bathrooms are a short distance from the bungalows and include toilets and showers.

  • Meals

All meals are included.

As an option, you might like to head into town on your day off and experience the local bars and cuisine. Rice and fresh fruit are synonymous with Ecuador!

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