1 - 12 weeks
Up to 6 people
1 - 12 weeks
Up to 4 people
What's the project about?
The project is Zimbabwe’s only dedicated primate conservation facility, and was purpose-built to support the ongoing care, rehabilitation and eventual release of primates. However, the facility has an open-door policy to all wildlife species in need of care and has taken in rare and endangered species such as pangolin and vulture, as well as zebras, bush babies and birds. The focus remains the protection and rehabilitation of primates, who are the often-forgotten victims of the human-wildlife conflict.
How will I be contributing?
This small wildlife sanctuary relies on volunteers to support local staff in all aspects of animal care. There is one goal in mind – the care and release of Zimbabwe’s vulnerable wildlife. Each primate conservation volunteer plays a vital role in the rehabilitation process whether by caring for orphaned monkeys, assisting with release preparation or working with animals that cannot be released. Volunteer tourism plays a vital role in achieving the project’s goals of raising international awareness and contributes to a local solution to the human-wildlife conflict.
What makes this project ethical?
The primate conservation project’s mission is for there to be no captive primates in Zimbabwe, and the focus of the sanctuary is wildlife release and education. It has a successful and well-documented release programme and has relocated many captive baboons and monkeys into the wilderness of the Matopos National Park. Other smaller animals including pangolins, servals, zebra, ostrich, birds and bush babies have been released into partner release sites.
Primates often find themselves in conflict situations with farmers and landowners, and this has resulted in numerous cases of orphaned primates, who if not rescued, spend their lives in small cages, usually in very inadequate, miserable conditions.
Volunteering is a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the sanctuary family, and contribute to an important conservation cause. The experience will be life-changing.
Sanctuary volunteers are involved with a diverse variety of tasks, which include some or all of the following activities:
Primate conservation and small animal care:
- Work hands-on with wildlife orphans and vulnerable animals
- Raise baby and juvenile primates, from bottle feeding (often through the night), to bush walks, troop reintroduction and eventual release
- Work with a range of species including zebra, ostrich, owls, raptors and bush babies, plus a range of domestic animals and birds
- Assist with food collection, preparation and feeding, encompassing herbivores, carnivores and omnivores
- Experience the joy of accompany primates (and usually a few other special guests!) on bush walks, stimulating them to explore their natural habitat, forage, play in water, jump and interact as a group
- Build toys, platforms, playgrounds and other enrichment objects
- Become part of the troop as you engage and interact with young monkeys and baboons
- Work with animals who are not current candidates for release due to mental or physical issues
Rehabilitation and release:
- Learn about the rehabilitation process and how it applies to a variety of small animals
- Play a part in individual animals release strategies
- Monitor released animals (on foot, by vehicle and on horseback)
- Join the veterinary team when rescue work is carried out (subject to location and conditions)
- Undertake snare sweeps and boundary patrols of the release sites
The project runs a child-focused programme where schoolchildren join educational tours and workshops at the sanctuary. They are taught about the importance of primate conservation and kindness to all animals, plus can see and interact with a variety of different species.
- Assist with planning and implementation of educational tours and workshops
- Help with creating materials
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