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Working at Primate Rescue Centre in South Africa with Monkeys and Baboons .
Darwin Primate Group.
As a volunteer you are a part of our organization and what we do, you do. By working with us you will have an incredible experience, learning all the daily routines at the sanctuary. Darwin Primate Group does not exploit the animals under their care, but is committed to ensuring your time as a volunteer is as rewarding and fulfilling as possible. The work and financial contribution you make as a volunteer provide the sanctuary with the ability to continue operating.
Volunteers will have an amazing opportunity to work side by side with well known ‘Baboon Woman’ Karin Saks.
To ensure you time at DPG is quality time, we limit the number of volunteers to a maximum of three at any one time. However if you are travelling with a group, we can vary this number on request.
Darwin Primate Group sanctuary is located 200kms west of Port Elizabeth near Plettenberg Bay on the beautiful Garden Route, South Africa
The best times – for most - to volunteer with us are from September to May during the warmer months.
ROUGH OUTLINE OF GENERAL ACTIVITIES:
- Chopping food
- Cleaning enclosures
- Acting as human enemies to show what humans are capable of.
- Collecting branches and insects for monkey food.
- Observing integration/socializing from a fair distance while attempting to remain passively non-communicative (to encourage monkeys to mingle with their own kind).
- Observing the behaviour of the monkeys undergoing rehabilitation and the wild troop of baboons - noting hierarchy changes, vocalizations and their context, the working out of new relationships, each individuals particular personality and how s/he interacts with everyone else etc.
- When monkey mothers are not available, a volunteer may be required to act as surrogate mother for at least 3 months. It is always in the best interest of the monkeys to choose a surrogate monkey first if possible.
- Fetching food from our closest town.
- Monitoring wild troops for male/female ratios, behaviour etc.
- Researching what the vervet monkey and chacma baboon eat naturally in this area.
- Anti-poaching patrols.
- Hikes - The Garden Route where we are based has spectacular scenery and world renowned hikes like the Otter trail. We are a few minutes away from various animal centres like the Elephant Sanctuary, Eagle Encounters and Monkeyland for those who seek an experience with captive wildlife.
- Building/maintaining enclosures
- Blogging about your activities for our website.
- Writing awareness articles about the plight of non-human primates in this province - your experiences as a visitor to this country - for our local newspaper.
- Fundraising ideas/activities.
- Walking our rescue huskies on the beach or in the forest.
An Average Day during the baby season/summer:
6.00/7.00 am - Babies get bottles first thing after they have been sterilised. (October to February when there may be infants here during the baby season - this is not always the case). Mr Gandhi gets a handful of biscuits.
Cutting branches and looking for insects to put into monkey enclosures for juveniles, sub adults and adults.
07h00 - 10 am (depending on time of year) Cleaning cages of faeces, dishes and food. (Preparing food, putting out clean water (to be done two/three times a day), and feeding of other animals.
- If monitoring baboon troops, it may be necessary to go and look for them early on sunny mornings (6-8am when it is not baby season). This means that someone needs to be at home to care for the monkeys who need to know there is a protector around in the absence of a functional monkey adult and to exhibit a warning when/if any predators/enemies arrive. The appearance of an eagle, snake, strange dog or strange human offers an opportunity to show the monkeys that these are potential enemies.
08h00/9 - Breakfast continental style.
10h00 - 13h00 - Continue with feeding if not complete, check for injuries or any discomfort with casualties if any and report. Washing blankets.
While some of us clean cages, the monkeys are taken out to socialize by the full time caretakers of the troop where we will supervise and observe them while bearing the dehumanizing process in mind as much as is possible.
9 - 10.30 - TWO (or more) DAYS A WEEK:
On monitoring days we will leave at 9 -10.30 (winter) to monitor wild troops. Depending on how many volunteers there are, volunteers will go together.
13h00 - 14h00 Lunch prepared by volunteers if hungry. The kitchen is yours to use whenever you please. Because many have individual eating habits we have found it more practical to work this way.
14h00 - 17h00 Afternoon programmes vary from building new enclosures, maintaining old ones, vegetables (for animals, checking animals in various stages of rehabilitation programme, collecting food, or sometimes having some time off to go on excursions or just personal time to do whatever volunteers want to do.
Depending on the animals needs, socializing and integration may take up much of the afternoon.
- Volunteers with ideas on how to dehumanize monkeys/baboons could help by showing the monkeys to be scared of strange humans.
- Anti-poaching in our area is another option for volunteers to get involved in at this time. The growing snaring problem is claiming lives of much of our local wildlife.
- Taking babies for forest walks, showing dangers (like raptors, wild baboons, feral dogs etc.) and food sources - foraging etc. This depends on the age of the monkey as well as the history.
A willingness to help out with all daily chores as listed above. A passion for animals.
Volunteers who have initiative to take our project forward are much appreciated.
Volunteers must be over 18 years
Moderate fitness level
Donation of 280 USD per week for accommodation. This project relies solely on the support of the public and donations are integral to our primates survival.
provided for internship/volunteer positions (travel, meals, lodging):
Included are your accommodation, laundry and lift once a week to the closest town for supplies. There is internet access available as are extra trips to town and surrounding areas for a small extra charge.
For a more detailed account of this project, please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Karin Saks 6602
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