An awesome scenic part of Perak, Malaysia invites you to participate and provide your helping hand in the Orangutan conservation program. This conservation project is designed to protect and preserve the orangutan and its habitat. Work to help with various conservation activities and initiatives to protect, care for, save these wonderful and extremely intelligent and gentle creatures.
Aims & Objectives
The aims and objectives of this conservation project is to spread awareness about these intelligent creatures, prevent them from going extinct, conserve their habitat, provide opportunity for students to study the importance of orangutans in the food chain and in the ecosystem, provide help and support for the injured and rescued orangutans and not but the least to preserve these species for future generations.
Your Roles - General Information
A good level of fitness is required to participate on this project. The work is sometimes physical, the heat and humidity make this more challenging. There is a working schedule and plan setup for each participant. Please take note that you are coming to an operational centre, we cannot predict what may happen each day, potential new orangutan arrivals or any of the current animals under the centre’s care. Therefore, we ask the participants to be flexible and tolerant of potential delays or changes to the planned work as different projects may get reprioritized.
Patience is needed as you adjust to ‘Malaysia time’ – participants always come with huge amounts of enthusiasm and energy to plough into the project, which is a massive asset and positively impact on the sanctuary. You simply add a helpful and necessary piece to a much larger puzzle, and you should not expect the world of animal conservation to make great strides forward in the timeframe of your project. The Malaysian approach to work is also vastly different, therefore please prepare to embrace the cultural difference rather than display frustration and/or incredulity at the local labouring techniques and ethos.
Please remember that: If all conditions were perfect for the animals, there would be no on-going need for labour on the island. One of the reasons you are here is to facilitate the improvement of conditions in the future.
You will be treated as temporary staff members when with us, you are expected to participate in any and all jobs that are required for the sanctuary’s maintenance and development. You may also get to witness events that are only the privilege of full-time members of the staff. No special skills or experience is required to be a participant on this project. We generally create jobs and projects that anyone with a reasonable fitness level can help us with, as the majority of our participants do not have prior skills. It is therefore not always simple to reassign tasks and create projects to accommodate specific skills or requests, but we will certainly make use of veterinary physician / builders / carpenters / welders / mechanics etc when and where we can!
The work at the project site is always varied and a working schedule will be arranged. Some work is physically demanding in the outdoors, meaning you also have to cope with the tropical elements. You should truly be prepared for anything! The following are some examples of the works, the actual work maybe and will be assigned upon arrival.
Maintenance - The rainforest is a harsh environment for the longevity of any man-made structures. Therefore, anything that we build needs regular maintenance to ensure that is does not rust/rot/get eaten by termites within a couple of years. This work is usually a lot of cleaning, painting and repairing.
Construction - Climbing structures for orangutan and building boardwalks for easier tourist and keeper access around the centre.
Enrichment - You will be involved in the process of producing enrichment material for the orangutans. This promotes natural behaviours and will enhance their well-being of the orangutans during this period but you will be able to get the chance to observe them from a safe distance enjoying the enrichment that have created!
Husbandry - Husbandry simply means cleaning, feeding and caring for captive animals. Everyday you will have to follow all of the rules and schedule for feeding as well as cleaning time. You will assist in farming and planting, food preparation and care of orangutan exhibition area.
When working around the animals, you will be expected to follow best practise guidelines which include: No food or drinks (outside of the diet provided by the centre) to be given to the animals at any time. Always listen to and follow the instructions of your supervisor/the animal keepers/the rangers.
These guidelines are for the safety both of yourself, and the animals that you are coming to help. We are working to create a new model of responsible tourism, where the interaction with the animals are kept to an absolute minimum, yet the impact and educational value to the human participant is incredibly high.
Week 1 (Arrival the Sunday prior to your start date)
Monday to Friday
Your day will begin on the project wherein you get involved deep into various activities of the project. The work on this project is physical, and the heat and humidity add an extra challenging layer to this. You will be carrying out a variety of tasks including husbandry, construction work, enrichment and maintenance. The “best” jobs are not saved for the participants - you will be treated as pseudo staff members during the duration of your program. You will be required for assistance wherever the need may arise at the sanctuary.
Would be the end of your journey (For participants who join for 1 week) or you could choose to extend your project.
Weekend (For those who join for more than 1 week)
These days are your off days to relax and absorb all the energy needed for your following week of your work or you may travel for the weekend(s).
The Following week 2 & Onwards
Monday to Friday
The following week you will continue with your work as per the required activities at the sanctuary.
Every 1st Sunday of the month
Duration: 1-3 weeks
Participant Criteria & Requirements
Minimum age: 18
Maximum age: -
Minimum English level: Basic
CRB required: Yes
Passport copy required: On Signup
Resume copy required: No
Required qualification: None
Due to the length and active nature of this program, a decent level of fitness is required.
- Lightweight clothes that you do not mind getting dirty/ruined
- Sun cream
- Rehydration sachets
- Travel plug adapter – Malaysian plug sockets are the same as England (3 pins), so if you are coming from the UK you will not need an adapter
- Poncho or waterproof coat – this is personal preference. If you are caught in a proper tropical downpour, nothing is really going to keep you dry! Lightweight cotton clothing will dry very quickly anyway, and we always find that an extra layer simply makes you sweat more, so you end up wet regardless
- Money – if you shop like a local for basic food, you can pass 2-4 weeks barely spending anything much. ATMS are easily available if your cash card works overseas, so you can always draw out money if needed. A float of RM300-400 should easily see you through the basics
- Telephone – there is a good coverage so your mobile phones will work well. Roaming charges, however, can often be horrendous. It is often worth buying a local SIM card when in country – they cost less than RM40, and international phone calls are incredibly cheap (to landlines, calls to other mobiles are more expensive). It may be worth unlocking your phone before travelling.
Malaysia - Peninsular