Gibbon Encounter

Gibbon Encounter

Mae SotThailand (Asia)

Program description

The essential focus of this project is to rescue gibbons that have been badly treated, abused or injured, especially from people who make money off them by using them as tourist attractions and “photo opportunities”, charging for taking photos with them. These animals have been previously taken from jungles as newborns, and in order to be able to make them come down from the trees, their parents are shot.

The sanctuary aims to rescue these gibbons and provide them with a safe home as they are unable to return to the forest after such a long time.

As a participant in this project, you should provide the gibbons with the love and care that they require.

Also known as “the smaller apes”, gibbons are one of the most endangered of ape species due to loss of their habitat as well as poaching and illegal trade for tourism purposes. Moreover, gibbons are one of the few species that remain monogamous. If their partner dies, they are unlikely to mate with another gibbon, giving little to no chance of new babies.

The main activities will be to feed the gibbons, clean their enclosures and perhaps most importantly, to give them love, attention and to “socialise” with these beautiful and charming creatures. This will help them get used to interacting with human beings as they can no longer be released into the wild. Their quality of life is of paramount importance to this project. The gibbons will remain in the sanctuary for the duration of their lives, as they would be at extreme risk if returned to the wild.

The sanctuary is aimed at gibbons. However, it does not reject any animal in need! Over the previous years, other furry friends in need have made it here, including over 20 macaque monkeys, a bear, two jackals and a even a bearcat.

Surrounded by lush nature, the center creates an environment that resembles that of their natural habitat, the gibbons live in huge cages which are interconnected by wired tunnels in order to keep them safe while at the same time giving them as much space as possible to do what they do best: swing! These creatures are considered some of the world’s best acrobats and they are able to jump from tree to tree as far as 15 meters apart!

A compassionate attitude towards animals is of course required for this project! You should leave this project knowing that you have helped, cared for and given love to these deserving and fascinating creatures.

Some of the activities you will be involved with include:

Preparing Food

This is done twice a day in the morning and the afternoon. You will assist in preparing, distributing and feeding of the gibbons.

Cleaning and Tidying Enclosures

It’s a dirty job…. but someone’s got to do it! This basic hygiene procedure is carried out daily. Keep in mind that you will not be allowed inside the cage with gibbons for safety reasons and the tidying is done only underneath the cages.

Socialising with the Gibbons

This may sound like a straightforward job, but the value of it cannot be underestimated. Many of these gibbons have developed a fear of humans due to bad and negligent treatment. Making them comfortable around humans is crucial through activities such as “fluffing”, imitating their calling “OoooooOOO”, and holding their hands.

Project summary

Mae SotThailand (Asia)

Conservación y medio ambienteFauna y cuidado de animales

Total cost:

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Gibbon Encounter

Aims & objectives

  • Provide a safe and comfortable environment for gibbons
  • Make the gibbons comfortable with human interaction and to establish mutual trust
  • Give you invaluable, practical experience in working with animals
  • Assist the local staff by providing an extra hand

What's included?

  • Orientation and detailed information before your departure

  • A local coordinator to assist you during all your stay

  • Safe and comfortable accommodation

  • Pick-up from the airport or the chosen meeting point on your arrival day within the regular pick-up window

  • Daily transport to the volunteering projects and scheduled activities and back to the accommodation

  • Scheduled activities

  • Meals

  • 24h emergency support

  • Program schedule

  • Materials needed for your specific program

  • Wi-Fi internet access at your accommodation

  • Diploma / Certificate of attendance

What's not included?

  • Flight tickets

  • Visas

  • Travel and health insurance (we can assist you with arranging that)

  • Vaccinations

  • Extra nights

  • Non-scheduled activities

  • Private room supplement (if a private room is requested)

  • Drop off on your departure date

  • If you decide to change programs there may be an extra charge


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