Volunteer Wildlife Vet internship
Colobus Conservation, Diani Beach, Kenya
Colobus Conservation is a conservation organization designed to promote the conservation, preservation and protection of primates like the nationally threatened Angolan colobus monkey (Colobus angolensis palliatus) and its coastal forest habitat in southern Kenya. Colobus Conservation was established in 1997 in response to an outcry from local residents about the high number of deaths of the colobus monkeys in the Diani area. Now Colobus Conservation has numerous projects concerning the wildlife and the citizens of Kenya, including animal welfares, biological/ecological research, community development and education, forest protection and enrichment and eco-tourism awareness programs.
Areas of our work that volunteers will be able to become involved in include but are not limited to the following:-
1) Primate Rescue
Conservation responds to animal welfare calls for of all primate species (colobus, vervet Sykes and baboons). Frequently these are road injuries, electrocution, snares and cases of animal cruelty. We have a small veterinarian clinic on site at Colobus Consetionrv for when cases require intervention.
2) Long-Term Injury Care & Rehabilitation
In as many cases as possible, Colobus Conservation treats and returns the primate to its home troop as soon as possible. Generally, there is little contact between those monkeys in for treatment and the colobus team, in order that their ‘wildness’ is promoted
3) Long term Rehabilitation
In recent years we have seen an increase in the primate pet trade on the coast. We now offer long term rehabilitation to primates who have been kept as pets in order that we can de-humanise them and return them to the wild.
Work time is demanding and a high level of flexibility is essential. A standard working week will be Sunday – Friday, 8am-5pm with Saturdays as a day off. Evening and weekend cover will be expected and can be discussed on arrival with the manager. In addition, should vet assistance be required during evenings and days off for emergency cases a request for your help will be made.
Ensuring that the veterinary and animal welfare aspects of Colobus Conservation are carried out in accordance with the Kenya Veterinary Board (KVB), PASA and the Trust’s policies and procedures in order to achieve the highest quality animal care possible.
• Manage and administer the treatment and daily care of all sick and injured animals in the care of Colobus Conservation, including primates in the long term rehabilitation programme under the guidance of the consultant Vet;
• Carry out the storage of drugs in the veterinary clinic to the standards of the KVB, and Colobus Conservation’s policies and procedures;
• Carry out the cleaning of the veterinary clinic to the standards of the KVB, PASA and Colobus Conservation’s policies and procedures;
• Follow the health and safety guidelines for animal handling;
• Carry out monthly stock take of drugs and materials and reorder as necessary;
• Ensure procedural documents on hand for cases of emergency outbreaks inside the facility or outside (in Diani) with regular review and updating of key contacts;
• Implement comprehensive record keeping systems, computer and paper copies; including new cases not previously carried out;
Animal Welfare (wild animal capture)
• Respond to animal welfare calls in a timely basis and assist Colobus Conservations welfare response team;
• Follow the Field Procedures manual in the assessment, capture and release of all animals;
• Follow the Animal Welfare manual for the treatment of all animals;
• Implement comprehensive record keeping systems, computer and paper copies;
Captive Animal Care (on-site rehabilitation animals)
• Feed and clean animals in care daily as per Colobus Conservation policies and procedures in collaboration with the Animal Care Officer and with the assistance of volunteers;
• Take charge of the daily animal care responsibilities on days when the Animal Care Officer is not available (namely Sunday, Wednesday and any off periods)
• Follow special procedures for neonates, pregnant and lactating animals;
• Co-ordinate the socialisation of new rehabilitations monkeys into pre-release groups under guidance from the Conservation Manager;
• Assist the Colobus Carer with daily outdoor socialisations and forest training of two orphaned Angolan colobus monkeys. This activity must occur daily for a minimum of two hours per day, but preferable longer;
• Intervention methods implemented for the post release vervet and Sykes – this action must always be discussed with the Conservation Manager prior to any treatment being given.
• Liaise with Diani hospitals on any infectious diseases that may affect the primates of Diani or infectious diseases in the primate population that may be a risk to people;
• Co-ordinate and conduct parasite analysis of Diani wild primates – methodology still to be written;
• Co-ordinate and conduct histology research in to diseases prevalent in the Diani primate population;
• Write proposals for development of the veterinary facilities;
• Write daily blogs, news feeds and Facebook updates of Colobus Conservations achievements for all associated on-line sites;
• Produce papers for publication in collaboration with the Conservation Manager and Scientific Director
• Carry out training as necessary to staff and volunteers;
• Participate in eco-tours when necessary;
• Update the Conservation Manager as equipment wears out so repairs and replacements can be arranged
• Perform any other duties as may be assigned by management from time to time
1) Veterinary Medicine Qualification
2) Foreign travel or living/work experience, within a developing country and ideally the tropics
3) Interest in animal behaviour, conservation and welfare,
4) Ability to commit for six months
In addition, applicants must have certain QUALITIES: they must be energetic, patient, open, responsible, flexible, healthy, able to work independently but also as part of a team, be highly motivated and not easily distracted by the holiday mentality found here in Diani. Applicants must also be hardworking and able to keep going, and do so cheerfully! Our schedule is demanding and unconventional (6 days work, 1 day off). The position is not ideal for someone who needs a lot of personal time, or for someone who easily feels lonely. The ideal applicant must be comfortable being unplugged and a distance from easy communication with the outside world, although there is good mobile phone and e-mail communication, sometimes things just don't work. They must also have above average resistance to social/psychological stress with a tolerance towards local customs and beliefs and be comfortable with other conditions and risks that are simply part of tropical fieldwork, such as limited healthcare, monotonous diet, rare confrontations with noxious plants or animals.
This is a volunteer position and as such no wage or stipend is available. The volunteer is responsible for their return flight to Mombasa, visa, which will need extending after 3 months for an additional 3 months, comprehensive travel and medical insurance, all field clothing, including adequate walking boots and airport transfers.
provided for internship/volunteer positions (travel, meals, lodging):
In return for a 6 month commitment Colobus Conservation will provide 3 meals a day and accommodation for the Vet Intern. Applications of less than six months will be considered but in these cases the intern is requested to contribute towards the costs of their accommodation at 100 Euros per week – normal rate 250 Euro per week.
Colobus Conservation offers a unique opportunity to live in a beautiful beach and forested area, with many western comforts. Our accommodation comprises single sex bedrooms in a communal house, hot/cold showers, 3 meals a day, laundry and housekeeping. There is good mobile phone and internet coverage, and using Sarfricom, the local network supplier, text messages to the UK are very cheap (approx 8p). This accommodation is also used for the Colobus Conservation volunteer programme, and as such there may be up to 12 people sharing the facilities at any one time. Many of the volunteers on this programme are not serious researches or qualified personnal and as such will be performing different duties and working different hours. Any person accepting this position needs to be aware of these differences.
Term of Appointment:
Rolling and until each period filled
Questions and Comments
Questions about a specific job listing should be directed to the
contact person listed for that job. Questions and comments about using
the Primate-Jobs web site can be directed to Joe Kemnitz at