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GAP YEAR | VOLUNTEER ABROAD | WORK EXPERIENCE OVERSEAS

 
CARE FOR ANIMALS AT LOK KAWI WILDLIFE PARK IN BORNEO IN MALAYSIA

MALAYSIA

CARE FOR ANIMALS AT LOK KAWI WILDLIFE PARK IN BORNEO IN MALAYSIA

Care for animals in Lok Kawi Wildlife Park. Some of the native species upi'll care for include Orang-utans, Proboscis Monkeys, Pygmy Elephants (including two cute babies) and a Pygmy Rhino. Also Tigers, a Clouded Leopard, Gibbons, Otters, Sun Bears, Giant Tortoise, Mouse Deer, Ostrich, Civets and a fantastic Aviary complete with talking birds.

"I wanted to say a big thank-you to Travellers for organisng this AMAZING experience for me! My month here ran so smoothly, so THANK YOU! Also a huge huge hat off to JB and Ronn who have been making me laugh, taking me out to dinner, introducing me to beautiful people and also just being genuinely a good friend.

What an amazing experience i have had. I have learnt so much and I had the opportunity to follow the vet around participating in her countless jobs and watching on with eager eyes! Warmest regards! Prue." [Prue Sinclair]

List of ALL PROJECTS in Malaysia BOOK NOW    

SUMMARY FACTFILE
Start Dates All year round - you choose your start and finish dates
Duration Fixed length of 4 weeks.
Requirements No experience or qualifications necessary, just lots of enthusiasm.  Minimum age 17. You should also:
  • Have a high level of fitness and be able to work as part of a team conducting physical work in hot and humid conditions.

  • Be able to cope in a tropical environment where there are large insects, snakes, bugs and leeches. If you are squeamish about insects then this is NOT the placement for you.

  • Have a genuine interest in Wildlife and recognise the educational importance of having animals in a Wildlife Park such as Lok Kawi - this is NOT a rehabilitation program and animals won't be released into the wild.

Price Full Price List / Other Currencies
What's included Arranging your Program,
Full pre-departure support and assistance,
Payment Protection insurance
Meeting you at the nearest airport/station
All accommodation
Food
Transfer to the placement site
In-country team support and backup
24-hr emergency support
Certificate of Completion.
What's not included Flights, Insurance, Cost of Visa, Return transfer to the airport
Who can do this Project? All our projects are open to all nationalities.
Suitable for gap years or those taking a year out, grown-up gappers, career breakers, anyone interested in conservation and caring for animals and working with wildlife overseas.
Suitable if you want to learn about the care of wildlife in an animal park environment, projects abroad or study abroad.
May also be suitable for university credit or requirement.

WHAT YOU'LL GAIN FROM DOING THIS PROJECT:

  • An exciting, never-to-be-forgotten adventure into Asia and the Thai culture!

  • New skills, more confidence, a greater understanding of a different culture, invaluable personal and professional development.

  • An entry on your CV or résumé that will put you head and shoulders above most others in the job market.

  • And best of all ... an unforgettable experience!

CARE FOR ANIMALS AT LOK KAWI WILDLIFE PARK IN BORNEO IN MALAYSIA

CARE FOR ANIMALS AT LOK KAWI WILDLIFE PARK IN BORNEO IN MALAYSIA

WORK CONTENT:

Travellers and the Sabah Wildlife Department have arranged a structured program at Lok Kawi Wildlife Park which will allow volunteers the opportunity to learn about animal care across a variety of species. You'll have hands on contact with some of the animals that have been hand reared.

Working hours are generally between 8.00am - 12.00am and 2.00pm - 5.00pm. You will assist on a rotation system within the areas listed below:

ELEPHANTS:
All of the Elephants at Lok Kawi are Pygmy Elephants and there are currently 5 female elephants, 1 male and 2 babies. Pygmy Elephants are native to Borneo - in the wild they are found mainly in Sabah along the Kinabatangan river, but their population and habitat is dwindling due to human intervention. Borneo's Pygmy Elephants are thought to be a separate sub-species of the Asian Elephant as the two differ in many ways. Pygmy Elephants are typically half a metre smaller in height than Asian Elephants and yet have longer trunks and tails, both of which sweep the ground. They also tend to be much less aggressive than Asian Elephants. Conservation and understanding of Borneo's Elephants is incredibly important as they are critically endangered. Lok Kawi plays an important role in educating the public about Borneo's native wildlife.

The baby elephants at Lok Kawi were rescued from the wild during separate poaching incidents which resulted in their mothers being killed. They have been in contact with humans since a very young age as they had to be bottle fed. Visitors and children can interact with the baby elephants at the Children's zoo.

You may assist the elephant keepers with the following tasks;
 
  • Cleaning enclosures thoroughly
  • Preparing food/milk
  • Bottle feeding and washing the baby elephants
  • Reporting to the veterinarian on behaviour/eating patterns
  • Taking the baby elephants to the Children's Zoo and assisting with visitor interaction/safety. This includes some rides for the children but only during weekends, public vacations and school vacations.
  • Inspecting animals for different behaviour or signs of illness and report to the veterinarian/other staff where necessary.

PRIMATES:
Primate species at Lok Kawi include Orang-Utans, Proboscis Monkeys and Gibbons. Within this area you'll also look after some of the other small mammals at the park. Both Orang-Utans and Proboscis Monkeys are native to Borneo and both are facing the threat of extinction due to loss of habitat and human intervention. 

Orang-Utans are incredibly gentle, inquisitive and endearing creatures. They are native to Borneo and Sumatra and found high up in the forest canopy. Orang-Utans are solitary animals and difficult to spot in the wild. At Lok Kawi there are 8 young Orang-Utans, living in a large unfenced enclosure with plenty of enrichment activities - bridges, hammocks, ropes and tyres to climb and swing on. Visitors are not allowed interaction with the Orang-Utans but as a volunteer you will be involved in some of the behind the scenes duties, which includes a direct hands on approach with the animals where possible. 

Orang-utans are facing extinction within the next 10 - 15 years due in part to a loss of habitat in the wild. They also have incredibly slow reproduction rates which means that a drop in their population has an even greater effect on the rate of extinction. The Orang-Utans at Lok Kawi will not be released but will remain in captivity to raise awareness of conservation issues to the public.

Proboscis Monkeys are very unusual, with round protruding bellies and huge, pink, pendulous noses - in males the longer the nose the better for attracting a female mate! They live in groups high up in the trees and usually close to a water source. In Sabah they are mainly found along the banks of the Kinabatangan river. At Lok Kawi there is a group of Proboscis monkey's living in a large glass fronted enclosure, with a water spring and plenty of vegetation for climbing. You will be fascinated watching their interactions with each other - these clever primates can even swim! Currently there are several baby proboscis monkey's that have been born in the Wildlife Park.

Gibbons are found in the subtropical forests of South East Asia and usually live in family groups of 2 - 6 individuals. They are territorial and excellent climbers and jumpers, capable of reaching up to 9 metres in a single jump. You may assist with the following duties within the primates section;

  • Cleaning enclosures
  • Preparing food and feeding 
  • Moving orang-utans from the night stalls to their outside enclosures 
  • Handling other primates when required
  • To assist with feeding time at the exhibits and talk to visitors about the various different primates
  • Inspecting animals for different behaviour or signs of illness and report to the veterinarian/other staff where necessary. 

BIRDS:
Walking into the Aviary is like stepping into the middle of the jungle! The forest canopy is covered with a mesh that is so high that you barely even notice it hovering above the trees. A wooden walkway leads you through the Aviary and across a stream where birds can be seen fishing and wading in the mud. Talking parrots will greet you 'hello' and you may even be lucky enough to spot a mouse deer foraging in the vegetation.

Sabah's iconic Rhinoceros Hornbill will no doubt swoop past you, making a loud whooshing sound with each wing beat - the hornbill is also famous for it's loud trumpeting calls. This black bird has a white tail and a dramatic yellow and red beak and casque. Other birds in this section include Macaws, Myna's and Hornbills.

You may assist with the following duties within the Main Aviary, the Macaw exhibit, the Myna exhibit and the Hornbill exhibit; 

  • Cleaning enclosures thoroughly to provide a clean environment for the birds
  • Preparing food
  • Maintaining records of the number of birds that come to the feeding platform and reporting anything abnormal to the veterinarian/other staff
  • To assist with feeding time and talk to visitors about the various different birds

RHINOS, DEER AND OTHER HOOFSTOCK:
Within the Hoofstock area you'll assist with Rhino, Cattle (Anchole and Bali), Axis and Deer (Timor, Red, Barking and Mouse).  You may assist with the following duties; 

  • Moving animals from night stalls to enclosures.
  • Inspecting animals for different behaviour or signs of illness and report to the veterinarian/other staff where necessary. 
  • Cleaning enclosures thoroughly to ensure a clean environment for the animals

THE TRAVELLERS / SABAH WILDLIFE DEPARTMENT PARTNERSHIP:
Travellers have worked closely with the Sabah Wildlife Department for many years. In the past, several volunteers from the Travellers Orang-Utan project have been invited by the Sabah Wildlife Department to help with various projects to set up the Wildlife Park. One assisted in the design of the sun bear enclosure and another designed and produced the Wildlife Parks information pamphlet. 

Travellers also donated £5,140.00 from the Bridge The Gap Foundation (The Phil Perkes Trust) to sponsor the Children’s Zoo. The Children’s Zoo is first and foremost an educational facility with an information center currently under construction that will boast live exhibits. Brightly painted murals engage attention and the petting zoo allows children to have hands on contact with domestic animals and wildlife to encourage learning about conservation. In the petting area there are Rabbits, Tortoise, Miniature Ponies and Goats. Travellers' donation reflects their commitment in education and raising awareness about conservation.

2010 saw the start of a Conservation Awareness Program at Lok Kawi, funded by Travellers and involving over 1000 local school children in its' first year. The purpose of the awareness program is to teach the importance of nature and wildlife conservation to younger generations through exposure to Borneo's native wildlife.

CARE FOR ANIMALS AT LOK KAWI WILDLIFE PARK IN BORNEO IN MALAYSIA

CARE FOR ANIMALS AT LOK KAWI WILDLIFE PARK IN BORNEO IN MALAYSIA

CARE FOR ANIMALS AT LOK KAWI WILDLIFE PARK IN BORNEO IN MALAYSIA

CARE FOR ANIMALS AT LOK KAWI WILDLIFE PARK IN BORNEO IN MALAYSIA

ACCOMMODATION:

Accommodation has been arranged within staff quarters on the grounds of the Wildlife Park. One of the staff quarters has been released for the sole use of volunteers. This accommodation has two bedrooms, a living/dining area, a western style toilet and a separate shower. There is a kitchen with a kettle and fridge for your use. Meals will be prepared for you by a caretaker and you'll have plenty of opportunities to socialise with others. 

Malaysia has lovely weather all year round with lots of sunshine and you will have some time during your free days to explore the local region and visit some of the tourist attractions.

 

CARE FOR ANIMALS AT LOK KAWI WILDLIFE PARK IN BORNEO IN MALAYSIA

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
Got any questions? Please email us: info@travelersworldwide.org

MORE ABOUT THE LOK KAWI WILDLIFE PARK
The Lok Kawi Wildlife Park was officially opened in February 2007 and has enjoyed high visitor numbers since this time, with the majority of visitors consisting of local Malays. There are plans to develop an education program amongst local schools and a volunteer program for Malaysian citizens

The Wildlife Park is set in a 280 acre forest reserve is in the district of Penampang, just 15 kms south west of Sabah's capital, Kota Kinabalu. It is run by the Sabah Wildlife Department and has been developed with education and fostering awareness of conservation issues in mind. Unlike some other Zoos in the region, the Wildlife Park is very big and is able to provide animals with enclosures which imitate natural conditions as much as possible. For children, the petting area provides a hands on experience and the chance to learn about conservation.

The Wildlife Park is a cross between a traditional Wildlife Park and a Zoo, many people refer to it as a modern Zoo.  The Park's main aims are to:

  • Increase Public Awareness
  • Provide World Class animal facilities and enclosures
  • Start an environmental education program
  • Make captive breeding of endangered species possible
  • Allow research activities to take place

Not only will the Wildlife Park strive to achieve these objectives but also to provide educational opportunities for locals, foreigners and schools, diversify the local economy and utilize local manpower.

Many Western Zoos take a hands-off approach, where even keepers have very little direct hands on contact with the animals. At Lok Kawi, keeper and animal interaction is an important part of keeping the animals well looked after and healthy. Your role will be to assist keepers in their daily duties in looking after the animals, however, not all of the animals are tame and therefore you'll only be allowed hands on contact with some of the animals. 

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU BOOK YOUR PLACEMENT:
Once you have applied for a placement, we'll contact you and send you our Welcome Pack. You'll also receive Log-on details and password for our Volunteer Extranet where you'll have access to all the documentation and information which we've put together to facilitate preparations for your adventure!

Your Project Co-ordinator for your country will liaise with you throughout the arrangements process, as well as while you're on your placement and on your return home.

The documents you'll have access to also include a Country Factfile, Safety Guide and any manuals that may assist you on your particular program (e.g. Teaching Guide, Sports Manuals, Enrichment Suggestions for Animal Care, etc.). We do all we can to make your stay one that you'll never forget. This is a truly awesome, elegant and beautiful country.

As with all our destinations, the culture and heritage is different to what you're used to ... which, although one of the most exciting aspects of travelling, should be borne in mind.    Self-reliance and independence are highly appreciated in all our destinations and will help you to make the most of this wonderful opportunity! 

On Arrival, your Introduction to the Country:

When you arrive, you'll be welcomed by Ronn. She is the Volunteer Co-ordinator, assisting Albert, our Malaysia Manager. Ronn will take you to your accommodation in Kota Kinabalu, where you will spend the first couple days of your trip. She will show you the nearby facilities such as banks, pharmacy, food and beverage outlets etc.

Albert will give you an evening induction (so you will be free to do some activities during the daytime).
You will then be taken to your project and accommodation and introduced to everyone concerned. You will be made to feel very welcome by all! 

During the first few days of your stay you will also receive an induction with the Sabah Wildlife Department, who run the Lok Kawi Wildlife Park. This induction will include a briefing on the project and a chance to meet some of the key staff who you will be working with.

Our projects in Malaysia are very popular and you are sure to have a wonderful time during your stay in Sabah. Your adventure has begun :-)

  

Travellers' Malaysia Manager Albert and friends!
Travellers' Malaysia Manager Albert and friends 


Facts on Malaysian Food

OPTIONAL ADD-ON ACTIVITIES:

WhiWhile on your placements, you can also book some Optional Add-Ons to make the most of your Travel Experience.

PADI Open Water Diving Courses
Climb Mount Kinabalu Excursion
Day Tours around Borneo
Turtles and Primates Excursion

This project can also be combined with any of our other projects in Malaysia, Thailand or South-East Asia - thus doubling your adventure and enjoyment! Our recommended comindations are Thailand or Sri Lanka, Malaysia or the Pandas in China!

LOCATION, EXPLORING AND SIGHTSEEING:

KOTA KINABALU

Kota Kinabalu, or "KK" (as it is locally known), is the capital of Sabah. KK is home to the International airport and this will be your first point of arrival in Sabah - it is a great place to start your trip and get used to the Malaysian way of life.

Although Kota Kinabalu is far less developed than Kuala Lumpur (its counterpart on the Peninsular), the people are very friendly and the atmosphere here is more relaxed. KK also boasts impressive markets, restaurants and nightlife and is a fun introduction to the wide variety of attractions that Sabah has to offer.  

Just off the coast it is possible to see an array of beautiful islands which make up the Tunku Abdul Rahman Marine Park. Exploring the coral reefs and marine life in this underwater world is fascinating and day trips here can be easily arranged - most islands are less than 45 minutes away by boat. Once you arrive you will be amazed at how clear the water is and just how many different fish you can see. There are also many wonderful beaches to be explored on the islands!   

Facing inland, it’s possible to see the peaks of Mount Kinabalu in the distance. This is another of Sabah’s main attractions and the views from the top at Sun rise more than make up for the two day climb. Afterwards you can soak your aching muscles at Poring where the sulphur hot springs provide a therapeutic bath.

Throughout the whole of Sabah you will find many local "Tamu", meaning market - the variety of fruit, vegetables, plants and handcrafted items on sale at cheap prices has to be seen to be believed!

THINGS YOU CAN DO

There is excellent diving and snorkelling on a number of islands surrounding Sabah. The Semporna Islands Marine park, located towards the south of the island, is one of the best. Here you will find Sipadan Island, the most famous within the park and classified as one of the worlds top dive sites.

Sipadan is an oceanic island shaped like a mushroom - it was formed by living corals growing on top of an extinct undersea volcano. Due to its geographic position it is at the center of one of the richest marine environments in the world - both the diving and snorkelling here are outstanding!

Rebecca Decant told us about her experiences of some of the excursions that took part during her placement.

"Sipadan (diving/snorkeling) - We all stayed on an island near Sipadan island called Mabul. We had a practice scuba dive the day we arrived to get us used to the equipment. In the evening we walked around the small island and met lots of local children who obviously hadn't seen many foreigners. Early the next morning we took a boat to Sipadan where some people snorkeled off the beach, which was quite small but the reef was huge! I scuba-dived for the first time and it was the best thing I have ever done I think (except work with Orang-Utans obviously!). The teachers were really good and helped us when we struggled to get the breathing right.

We got about 45mins underwater and saw the beautiful reef, turtles, millions of fish and some white-tip sharks. The rest of the day was spent relaxing on the beach and snorkeling. You could see the same snorkeling as you could diving, but the experience of diving was well worth the few extra pounds!"

TRAVEL:
To read about Travel arrangements and what happens when you arrive in your new country, please click here.

Support & Backup: To read about the excellent Support & Backup we provide before you leave and during your program, please click here.

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