Volunteer Opportunity description The project is dedicated to helping Cambodia's domestic elephant population and conserving their habitat. The project primarily works with the tribal Bunong peoples to help them, help their elephants. The end goal is the improvement of the welfare and living conditions of the elephants and to provide a sustainable income for the Mahouts (elephant keepers) and their families.
The project promotes the development of a new legal classification of forest - "Elephant Forest" - forest that is primarily for the use of a village's domestic elephants. These managed forests will be of a suitable area, contain enough foodstuffs, forest cover and sufficient water to cope with the needs of a village's domestic elephant population and give the elephants daily time away from human activity.
The project provides an alternative lifestyle for the domesticated working elephants closer to their natural living conditions in the forest. The elephant keepers are provided with an alternative income and the elephants are provided with veterinary care and no longer work long hours.
Volunteers work a 5 day week. You will work closely with the Mahouts who always accompany the elephants. Each volunteer will be assigned their own elephant for the duration of their stay, unless volunteers are traveling as a couple.
Volunteer duties include:
- Learning about the project and the elephants.
- Learning how to control the elephant.
- Early morning walk to collect the elephants from their overnight location in the forest.
- Walking the elephants into the forest to forage and ensure that nobody encroaches on the protected land to illegally log the trees.
- Bathing and cleaning the elephants.
- Collecting rare orchids from recently logged areas before the land is burnt and the orchids are lost.
- Working with the local Bunong staff to improve the living conditions of the elephants.
The elephants of Cambodia need help, there is little education on the care of domesticated elephants and few possibilities of veterinary assistance when required. The project provides vital jobs for the local population and care for their elephants. Modulkiri is being rapidly deforested and the project protects an area of "elephant forest" for the local population and the creatures that inhabit the area.
How to apply To apply or learn more, go to our Cambodia Elephant Sanctuary page. This page has everything you need to know about this exciting volunteering opportunity!