WHAT DOES THE PROJECT DO?
The increasing threat of habitat loss and hunting are just some of the effects of population growth and industrial development, causing the indigenous wildlife of South Africa to become ever more endangered. This has led to many animals becoming injured or orphaned and no longer able to support themselves in the wild. Primates in particular are hunted for meat, to serve as pets or for their medicinal qualities, causing their numbers to dwindle. Some species of primate are even considered pests by the South African authorities and fail to receive any legal protection, leaving them exposed to human exploitation.
It is the role of wildlife refuges and rehabilitation centres to provide this crucial care and support of those animals which have been injured or exploited, ultimately with the hope of reintroducing them back into the wild. The role which the project has in educating the public about human wildlife conflict is also incredibly valuable in the fight to change attitudes and conservation.
You will be assisting the park rangers in the everyday running of the rehabilitation centre as well as caring for its primate inhabitants. The centre may also be home to a number of other South African residents which will require your love and attention too! The work at times may be physically tiring but if you have a passion for animals then this project will be extremely rewarding as you make unforgettable bonds with the residents at the centre.
WHAT WILL I BE DOING?
During your stay at the primate sanctuary you will take an active, hands on role helping the local staff with the running and maintenance of the rehabilitation centre. You will represent an important member of the team, ensuring that the monkeys in your care remain happy and healthy as they make their transition back into the wild. Daily tasks may include cleaning and repairing enclosures, feeding the monkeys and other animals housed at the centre, planting vegetables in the centre’s gardens and raising awareness with visitors of the environmental issues affecting South Africa. You will also help collect food for the animals twice a week from the local town. Your routine will change on a daily basis depending on the needs of the centre and the animals, but given the unpredictability of working with animals, there is no way of knowing for definite what each day will have in store! Be prepared to get really dirty at times as you clean, work and play with the monkeys and allow yourself to become immersed in life at the centre.