Help with Primate Husbandry as a Gibbon Rehab Volunteer in the rainforest!
As a Gibbon Rehab Volunteer, you will help this groundbreaking rehabilitation project by GPSM Gibbon Protection Society Malaysia. The project is located in their natural habitat, the tropical rainforest.
It cares for gibbons that were victims of the illegal wildlife trade. The rehab process is long and intensive. It requires 5 to 10 years for each gibbon to learn natural behaviours. Then they have a chance to be released back into the wild.
The role of a Gibbon Rehab Volunteer is to assist the primate keepers with food preparation, feeding and enrichment. You will also do daily cleaning of the enclosures. Moreover, there is scope to do animal observation studies, if you are interested in this aspect.
Responsible interaction with primates to allow release into the wild
This project follows professional guidelines for rehabilitation and re-introduction into the wild. So, you will learn that physical contact must be kept to a minimum. Not just because primates need to learn natural behaviour, away from human contact. There is also a risk of transmitting diseases between humans and primates. So proper vaccinations are required for a gibbon rehab volunteer.
WATCH THE PROJECT VIDEO HERE:
” It was all fantastic and is worth so much more than the cost. The amount you learn and get to help is very encouraging”
Joe, from the U.K.
– Fruits and vegetables (avoid acidic/sour fruits & food must be at room temperature/not from refrigerator)
-Weigh all food accordingly
Time: 10am – DAILY CLEANING OF ENCLOSURES
– Clean the food and water container before feeding
– Clean any stains/faeces at the cage area
– Collect and gather the faeces and food waste to Compost Area
Also, INSPECTION OF ENCLOSURES AND ANY MAINTENANCE
Time: 11 am – BEHAVIOUR DATA COLLECTION ( for animal behaviour studies)
– 3 times a week alternately (11am and 3pm)
– Health data collection – Everyday
Time: 1.00 pm – SNACK TIME AND ENRICHMENT
– Nuts/insects/vitamins/grains/dates/raisins/eggs/rice balls
– Prepare leafy vegetables/edible leaves for playtime
– Prepare inedible but safe enrichments
– Take a photo (for report) and write any progress in the note book
Time: 4.00 pm – EVENING FEEDING
Gibbon – Fruits and vegetables / rice
- START DATES FOR THIS PROJECT ARE:
This programme operates all year. Volunteers start every alternate (2 weekly) Sunday from the 5th January 2020.
Malaysians are welcome to volunteer for a minimum of ONE month.
Accommodation provided, but food and other necessities for own account
Accommodation and Food
You will be staying in a small village house, typical for this part of Malaysia, within a tropical forest area. The house is well-ventilated, with gaps at the roof level. It is basic but has all essentials such as electricity, toilet, shower and kitchen facilities. There are three bedrooms, and normally no more than 4 people stay in the house.
As a gibbon rehab volunteer, you will get two cooked meals on 2 or 3 days of the week. This will be a mixture of communal meals, with the gibbon team, at the centre. Or meals offered by local villagers. This allows them to earn some extra income and develop relationship with the visitors. Remember that most villagers rarely have any guests from abroad. The
The other days, you can cook at the volunteer house and eat with the volunteer team. Volunteers are responsible for their own breakfast and snacks or extra drinks.
For a weekly grocery shop, you will be given a lift to the nearest town, Raub. There you can find all the basic amenities such as banks, supermarkets, specialty shops, food stalls and restaurants. The town is one of the oldest in the state of Pahang and has a population of almost 100,000. It is located between the capital Kuala Lumpur, 110 km to the East, and the capital of Pahang, Kuantan, 265 km to the West.
- You will need comprehensive insurance coverage and proof of insurance must be provided along with flight details.
- Vaccinations – Tetanus, Hepatitis A & B, Tuberculosis (doctor’s note to certify clean bill of health).
Further location and transport details
Further details about getting to project base will be given during booking.
Successes to date…
- One of the notable facts about the project is that this is the first non-profit NGO-managed wildlife rescue centre in West Malaysia. This is groundbreaking, because before, there was simply nowhere for any rescued primates to be housed, apart from government holding kennels. Actually, the establishment of the centre in 2019, has been the result of a very long and arduous process to obtain approval and cooperation from the national wildlife department. Now, the gibbon team are aiming to build a productive working relationship with the authorities to expand the centre and its crucial work for the welfare of primates in West Malaysia.
- Releases: The long-term aim is to release complete gibbon family groups, as they occur in the wild. This is what the team is preparing for, by trying to match males and females. Then they need to monitor how the animals get along. The whole process of re-habilitation is long and labour-intensive. But there is a clear goal in sight, as some of the gibons have been prepared by the team for more than 4 years. So they are almost ready for release into the wild.