Country: United States of America


Volunteer Abroad With Your Favorite Animals!

April 14, 2011

Interested in volunteering with wildlife? These five organizations offer one-of-a-kind service trips that allow you to work hands-on with your favorite animals! For more ideas on service projects with domestic and wild animals, click here.

Sea TurtlesVolunteering with sea turtles

The Sea Turtle Conservancy (Formerly, the Caribbean Conservation Corporation)

  1. The Sea Turtle Conservancy is an international nonprofit organization that has chosen sea turtles as the focal point of its efforts.  The Sea Turtle Conservancy believes it is imperative for humans to understand the importance of coexistence with all other creatures in our diverse world by maintaining the health of our ecosystems and sustaining our co-inhabitants.
  2. Volunteers work with sea turtles in protection and recovery as well as and efforts towards environmental conservation through working in the areas of research, education, and advocacy.
  3. Program duration:  1-3 weeks
  4. Location: Costa Rica
    For more information, visit


Australian Tropical Research Foundation

  1. The Australian Tropical Research Foundation is located in the Daintree Rainforest, which receives more than 500,000 eco-tourists each year.  The main goal of the organization is to promote global awareness of rainforest conservation issues.
  2. Volunteers generally assist in both research activities at The Cape Tribulation Tropical Research Station and the daily running and maintenance of The Bat House.  Typical duties include maintaining the Bat House and the 25 acre grounds, feeding bats, replanting plant species, and environmental conservation.
  3. Program duration:  2-3 weeks
  4. Location: Australia
    For more information, visit

Tolga Bat Hospital

  1. The efforts of the Tolga Bat Hospital are focused in the conservation of bats and their natural habitats in the Mabi Rainforest.  The organization works with the rescue, rehabilitation, and release of bats which have been injured and provides a home for bats that have been discarded from zoos or can no longer manage in the wild.  In addition to their hands on efforts with the bats, Tolga Bat Hospital also works towards the education of and advocacy for bats. 
  2. Typically volunteers will help prepare food for the bats as well as feed, clean, weigh, and measure new inhabitants of the Bat Hospital.  Other duties include cleaning the cages, assisting in trips to the rainforest to search for or release bats, and help with other projects around the hospital.  
  3.  Program duration:  1 week to 1 month
  4. Location: Australia
    For more information, visit

OrangutansVolunteering with orangutans

The Great Orangutan Project

  1. The award winning Great Orangutan Project is focused on the rehabilitation and conservation of the orangutan, a truly unique, intelligent primate whose population is rapidly declining.
  2. Volunteers build rehabilitation centers for orangutans as well as conserve the local community of the orangutans
  3. Program duration:  2-4 weeks
  4. Location: Malaysia and Borneo
    For more information, visit

Large Cats and Other Animals

Comunidad Inti Wara Yassi

  1. The Comunidad Inti Wara Yassi is an NGO created in Bolivia which consists of worldwide volunteers in Bolivia’s only refuge for mistreated wild animals.  Animals are rehabilitated and given homes if they are unable to return to the wild.  The focus of the Comunidad Inti Wara Yassi is to minimize the negative impact human has placed on the animals through advocacy against deforestation and the protection of animals. 
  2. Volunteers can work with a variety of animals on refuges.  Work includes large cat, monkey, small mammals, pumas, and Andean bears.  Volunteers assist the rehabilitation of the rescued animals, work in clinics and quarantine areas; maintain areas such as cages and other animal areas, and trail clearing.
  3. Program duration:  2 weeks, opportunities for longer, especially if working with large cats
  4. Location: Bolivia, with 3 refuges to choose from
  5. Spanish speaking (even at the basic level) is desired
    For more information, visit

Both images courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.