Volunteer at our Sanctuaries

Volunteering offers an amazing & unique opportunity to join our experienced team and look after sun & moon bears rescued from the illegal wildlife trade.

Our Volunteer Programme operates within our Cat Tien Bear Sanctuary in Cat Tien National Park, Vietnam for limited months in 2023/24 see below (June/July and December/January only).

NOTE: You can visit any of our bear sanctuaries for a day on a Bear Care Tour (learn more here), volunteering for longer periods is only available in Vietnam. 

What will I be doing?

You'll be helping our local bear care team look after rescued bears and maintain the sanctuary. Your physical and financial contribution allows us to grow, develop and improve, year after year!

Activities include:

  • Food preparation & distribution
  • Providing sensory enrichment
  • Assisting keepers in cleaning of forest enclosures and bear dens
  • Creating/repairing bear hammocks
  • General maintenance & improvement to the center i.e. painting, sanding, repairs & gardening

Does it cost anything?

A fee is charged to cover general expenses including accommodation, meals and volunteer programme costs. In addition, a portion of the fee goes towards bear care at that sanctuary.

With volunteer placements ranging from 1 week to 8+ weeks, there's an option for everyone. 

VIETNAM: Cat Tien Bear Sanctuary (Commences from Sunday June 4th 2023 until Sunday July 30th 2023 and then another 2 month period from Sunday December 3rd 2023 until Sunday January 28th 2024)

Our sanctuary is located inside the Cat Tien National Park, a nature lovers paradise and home to an array of local wildlife including many endangered species of mammals, primates, reptiles, birds and fish (it's astonishing how many wild animals you can see). Cat Tien is also home to an incredible 1,610 botanical species of plants!

The park authority is focused on forest protection and management as well as education and helping local communities, with several eco-tours you can take after volunteering.

Things to note:

  • We have a minimum volunteer age of 18 (exceptions considered for students or those with experience in wildlife/conservation)

  • You will undertake physical activities in a tropical climate - a good level of health is required

  • You will work closely with the bears however for your safety and their welfare there will be no direct contact 

  • No experience in wild animal care is required - just be willing and enthusiastic with a strong interest in conservation and wildlife


Do you have a research programme for students?

We offer research projects to students who are currently studying and have access to a project supervisor. Please ask for a copy of our research prospectus when enquiring if you are interested.

Do you offer veterinary/vet nurse placements or volunteering?

Currently we do not have veterinary or vet nurse volunteer placements available as we are focused on local capacity building. If you would like to send us an expression of interest for any opportunities that may arise you can email us with a copy of your CV.

For more information and an application form, please email us here or at volunteer@freethebears.org.