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Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand 

(WFFT)

What ?

Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand (WFFT) is a large wildlife rescue centre in Phethaburi, Thailand. The charity rescues  a vast array of species, native and non-native to Thailand. Some species WFFT house include, Asian elephant, species of primate, including, orang-utans, macaques, gibbons and lorises, species of wild cat including fishing cats and pumas, civets, otters, species of bear including asiatic, sun bear and malayan bear, as well as species of bird such as great hornbill and cassowary. Wildlife friends foundation’s goal is to rescue, rehabilitate and release. Where release is not possible a forever home is provided. Many animal rescues involve animals who are injured, physically and mentally. Those who are physically injured are taken straight to the onsite vets where they are treated and monitored before release. Animals who have experienced long-term traumas, such as being used as a prop for entertainment or kept as a pet in unsuitable environments will be also be assessed and monitored. For the latter, this means a forever home at WFFT. This is where volunteers play a key role. 

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WFFT largest elephant enclosure also inhabits gibbon islands where family of gibbons are given the opportunity to express natural behaviours up in the tree canopy. This also provides the gibbons with the next stage of rehabilitation ready for potential release.

Another key goal of WFFT is to actively campaign against animal abuse and exploitation. This includes working towards ending the illegal wildlife trade in Thailand and discouraging locals and tourists to take part in animal exploitation activities such as having their pictures taken with wild animals. Education of local people and tourists is paramount to ensure the work that WFFT does at the rescue centre is worth while.

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One of many gibbons (Lar gibbonrescued from the illegal wildlife trade by WFFT. 

Volunteer Experience 

Volunteers can expect an extraordinary experience when visiting Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand (WFFT). WFFT currently run a number of projects including the Wildlife Rescue Centre (WRC) and Elephant Refuge. Monkeys make up a large portion of the primates on the Wildlife Rescue Centre Project, macaques being the most commonly rescued. Macaque species on site range from pig-tailed macaques (Macaca nemestrina), stump-tailed macaques (Macaca arctoides) and long-tailed macaques (Macaca fascicularis). Other monkeys on site include the native Ducky Leaf monkey (Trachypithecus obscurus). Additionally, the illegal wildlife trade has also encouraged not so native species to the rescue centre. Three species of monkey native to South-America are also housed at the rescue centre and in need of caring for. This includes a common squirrel monkey (Saimiri sciureus), black-tufted marmoset (Callithrix penicillata) and brown capuchin (Cebus apella). Apes (newly rescued chimpanzee, Sumatran and Bornean orang-utan) and lorises (slender and slow) also take up a large portion of the overall rescues at WFFT. Gibbon species include White-Handed gibbon (Hylobates lar), pileated gibbon (Hylobates pileatus), agile gibbon (Hylobates agilis) and siamang (Symphalangus syndactylus). Volunteers will have the opportunity to work alongside all species of primate as well as other rescued animals on the Wildlife Rescue centre. 

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Left to Right: Black-tufted Marmoset (Callithrix penicillata), Bornean Orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus),  Siamang (Symphalangus syndactylus), Stump-tailed Macaque (Macaca arctoides), Dusky Leaf Monkey (Trachypithecus obscurus), Pig-tailed Macaque (Macaca nemestrina). 

With a large amount of species rescued and cared for on the WRC project, volunteers can expect to work hard and gain a rewarding experience. A key task for volunteers include prepping food bowls and feeding out to the animals in the morning and throughout the day. Enrichment sessions are also essential for all species on site and volunteers are expected to be creative with food and natural objects such as banana leaves and twigs, which can be a lot of fun and rewarding when animals interact with enrichment. Other important tasks undertaken by volunteers include enclosure cleaning, clearing pathways and painting enclosures. Long-term volunteers can experience more in terms of maintenance and enclosure construction. 

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Food preparation and feed out is an important part of a volunteers role within the rescue centre at Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand (WFFT). 

Left to Right: Food bowls prepped for primates, Food given to the resident Cassowary (Casuarius), White-handed gibbon (Hylobates lar) feed on fruit. 

If you would like the opportunity to volunteer for WFFT please visit: https://www.wildlifevolunteer.org