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 Program will operate in our Cambodia Bear Sanctuary until March 24, 2023. From April 1, 2023 our Volunteer Programme will move to Vietnam and operate within our Cat Tien Bear Sanctuary in Cat Tien National Park, 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.

CAMBODIA: Cambodia Bear Sanctuary, Phnom Tamao

(last day of volunteering is March 24, 2023, after this volunteering will move to our Cat Tien Bear Sanctuary in Vietnam)

Free the Bears Cambodia is located within the Phnom Tamao Wildlife Rescue Centre, home to over 1,200 animals of many different species, rescued from the illegal wildlife trade. It is the largest sun bear sanctuary in the world! Located one hour outside of the bustling city of Phnom Penh, you'll stay in a comfortable house just outside of the sanctuary.

With volunteer placements ranging from 3 days to 8+ weeks, there's an option for everyone. After volunteering you can explore Cambodia's famous Angkor Wat temples or take a trip to the mountains or beach in no time at all.

VIETNAM: Cat Tien Bear Sanctuary (Volunteering commences in Vietnam on April 1, 2023)

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! You'll stay in bungalows on the river facing the park.

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?

In Cambodia 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.