Wildlife Sanctuary Operations Assistant

This program is no longer offered. View more programs from Palliata Santuario de Vida Silvestre.

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Play a vital role in the rehabilitation of orphaned howler monkeys and other wildlife of Panama!
Volunteers are an essential part of the work at Palliata Santuario de Vida Silvestre. They contribute hard work and technical expertise to the project. In exchange, volunteers gain valuable work and life experience in a tropical environment.
Volunteers will be involved in all aspects of the project, from animal care and rehabilitation, cleaning, cooking, gardening, giving tours, to maintenance.
Volunteers tasks may include but are not limited to:
- Animal food preparation and cleaning of enclosures
- Monkey rehabilitation walks
- Collecting foliage
- Making enrichment
- Plant cultivation, propagation, and reforestation
- Fruit collection
- Giving tours
- Construction
- General property maintenance
- Facility maintenance
- Meal preparation and cooking
- Cleaning
- And other various tasks

  • Amazing location
  • Large biodiversity
  • Botanical gardens in development
  • Immense expansion potential
  • Large research opportunities

Questions & Answers

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9.25 Rating
based on 4 reviews
  • 9-10 rating 75%
  • 7-8 rating 25%
  • 5-6 rating 0%
  • 3-4 rating 0%
  • 1-2 rating 0%
  • Impact 9.3
  • Support 8.8
  • Fun 7.5
  • Value 9.5
  • Safety 8.3
Showing 1 - 4 of 4
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Yes, I recommend this program

Great place to learn, and a rewarding experience

As someone who has studied primates in the wild, it was a great experience to finally get to know the animals up close and personal. It was a rewarding and humbling experience to get to know an animal that is so different than us but at the same time very much the same. It is a good warm up for anyone who is a student and wants to do field research but has never done it before. The facilities are great for a field site, but it also gives you an introduction to living in the middle of nowhere surrounded by dense forest. Its definitely a change up from the normal routine but once you get used to the schedule its not bad.

What would you improve about this program?
Could be a little more organized and clear about the expectations on the outset.
Yes, I recommend this program

Mantled Howler Monkeys

Conservation and rehabilitation of wildlife is an extremely taxing and rewarding career to get into. My time at this sanctuary was memorable, as I got hands-on experience of how to properly care for wildlife and fall in love with it. It is amazing to learn about the ins-and-outs of monkey behaviors and recognize their intelligence through day-to-day activities. Though the work is definitely not easy (there's lots of poo and pee; work involving lifting/carrying branches, minor construction, etc.), the benefits of seeing your hard work come to fruition is what made my time here so valuable. I was able to form bonds with individual monkeys and understand their personalities and their wild nature!
If you are thinking to work here, be bold and do it! The people you will meet are fascinating in their own ways, and the scenery of the place is gorgeous!

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Yes, I recommend this program

engaging and fulfilling internship with opportunities to conduct your own research

If you're looking to volunteer to gain hands-on experience of primate care and directly impact rehabilitation efforts then this is the program for you. This isn't a holiday or simple visit disguised as an internship but a place where you can concretely see the help you're providing and gain a real insight into the functioning of conservation programs.
I put in long days of work but definitely more than reaped the benefits, learning all the essentials of primate care and rehabilitation from the very dedicated and motivated site manager. As a fully qualified conservation primatologist, she also trained and helped me in designing and collecting data on wild monkeys that I'm using for a university research project.
Although I went into this program with no experience in wild or tropical animal care, I now feel confident in the skills I learnt over there and in looking into jobs in the same sector.
I found my time there immensely rewarding and built a real connection to the place, people and monkeys. At the end of time there, I didn't want to leave - and probably wouldn't have if I didn't have to finish my last year at uni!
I cannot recommend this place enough if your interested in primates, animal care or ecology and conservation in general.

Default avatar
Yes, I recommend this program


My time at this internship was amazing and life changing. Would highly reccomend to anyone with a passion for wildlife. It gave me direction in the field I want to work in, while opening my eyes to a whole new world. Living in the jungle is an amazing experience and anyone who comes across this internship opportunity should definitely adventure out there to see for themselves. You'll fall in love.

What would you improve about this program?
It couldn't