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Volunteer with Orangutans

Volunteer with Orangutans

Volunteering with orangutans is a unique and highly rewarding experience. Sharing up to 97% of our DNA, orangutans are thought to be our closest living relative and it is fascinating for volunteers to observe their individual personalities and recognize distinctly ‘human’ moods and behaviours. The name, ‘orang-hutan’, literally means ‘person of the forest’ in Malay and Bahasa Indonesia. Highly intelligent, orangutans can use tools, problem solve and have even been taught to communicate through simple sign language. As the largest living arboreal (tree-dwelling) mammals and the only great apes indigenous to Asia, orangutans play a vital role within their eco-system, since many trees rely on them for dispersing heavy seeds.

Sadly the orangutans’ home forests in Borneo and Sumatra are disappearing and they are currently endangered species (critically endangered for the Sumatran variety with less than 7000 left in the wild). Threatened by rapid habitat destruction, poachers and the illegal pet trade, orangutans need your help!

As a volunteer you could work in an orangutan rescue or rehabilitation centre, helping orangutans prepare for release and providing care and enrichment for those orangutans who would not survive in the wild and will remain permanently in sanctuaries. Volunteers can also get involved with education and conservation programmes, to protect what little habitat the orangutans have left and spread awareness about their plight, reducing devastating land cultivation practices and demand for the illegal pet trade. Many of these projects are small and self-funded, so they really value your contribution as a volunteer, both physical and financial. Orangutan volunteer projects may seem quite expensive but keep in mind that your payment not only covers your costs but also a vital donation to sustain the project – to feed orangutans, buy tools and medical supplies, maintain enclosures and pay staff salaries.

Orangutan Volunteer and Gap Year Programs

Volunteer with Orangutan, Gibbon, sun Bear and many more in Indonesia

Provide care for orangutans and other orphaned and injured wild animals who are preparing for rehabilitation and eventual release back to the wild.

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Orangutan & Pygmy Elephant Conservation Voluntour in Borneo

Learn about orangutans & pygmy elephants and maintain planting sites important for the survival of the orangutan and pygmy elephant population

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