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Sun Bear Rehabilitation Intern
Orangutan Foundation International
About the organization:
The Orangutan Foundation International (OFI) Internship Program offers individuals a rare opportunity to travel abroad and witness firsthand the impact and realities of wildlife and habitat protection, by working at OFI’s Orangutan Care Center in Pasir Panjang, Kalimantan. The OFI Intern is an unpaid, volunteer based position designed to increase OFI’s impact and to offer participants a unique insider experience.
For more information about OFI please visit our website (www.orangutan.org) and volunteer page (http://www.orangutan.org/how-to-help/volunteer/long-term-volunteering)
About the internship:
Orangutan Foundation International is seeking a new Sun Bear Rehabilitation Intern to participate in the care of two juvenile and one adult sun bears, as well as the reintroduction of a young bear cub currently being rehabilitated in Central Kalimantan, Indonesia. The reintroduction project started in May 2011 and in August 2012 we facilitated the translocation of the orphan cub to our release site where she has begun the rehabilitation process. Her rehabilitation so far has been based on the proven ‘walk-release’ method, in which she is walked daily in the forest by her ‘bear walker’ (a current Sun Bear Rehabilitation Coordinator). This will enable her to adapt to living in the wild and develop the foraging skills necessary to survive, while also functioning to establish her territory. Previous sun bear releases suggest that human presence during this time helps to deter wild bears from displacing or attacking the young, naïve cubs during the rehabilitation process.
The Intern will work closely with a current Sun Bear Rehabilitation Coordinator during the internship. The current coordinator will trade off being at the forest release site after the intern’s training period has completed. The intern will also trade off caring for two juvenile and one adult sun bears at our Orangutan Care Center and Quarantine (OCCQ) facility in the village of Pasir Panjang, Kalimantan Tengah, Indonesia.
The intern’s in-field responsibilities include:
• Participating in the rehabilitation and release of a year old sun bear cub at a remote forest location
• Full length daily walks with the bear in the forest so that she can adapt to living in the wild and learn the foraging skills necessary for survival
• Daily record keeping of the bear’s behavior and important events and progress
• Radio tracking to locate and monitor the bear once she becomes more confident and independent in the forest (onsite training will be provided)
• Assisting the resident OFI staff with all camp household duties
• Participating in OFI’s other field projects, if needed
• During times away from forest release site, assisting the Rehabilitation Coordinator with the rehabilitation/care of two juvenile and one adult sun bears currently housed at the OCCQ, including helping with a large enclosure construction project planned for the next year
• Administrative responsibility
• Documentation of rehabilitation for future reference
• Compilation of data collected in the field
• Occasional article writing for OFI website and other media, as requested or needed
Approximately half of the intern’s time will be spent at the forest rehabilitation release location of the young female. The new intern would be trained in the field by the current Sun Bear Rehabilitation Coordinator as the start date for this position is ASAP. The most important factor to success in this position is a genuine desire to establish an intense bond with the bear cub. Under the guidance of the current coordinator and a reasonable training period will be agreed upon and monitored until it is felt the new intern is ready to be in the field alone with the bear. It must be noted that the cub will be naturally wary of strangers and it will take some time before the cub is comfortable with the new intern, and a period of intense adjustment must be expected.
Simple and basic one-roomed hut surrounded by a mixture of secondary and primary rainforest. The site is located at one of OFI’s past orangutan release stations. Wildlife is abundant, including wild ex-captive orangutans and even wild sun bears.
There is no running water and washing is done with a scoop and a bucket. There is a squat toilet in an outhouse near the hut.
All food will be delivered by OFI staff and is generally basic – rice, noodles, sardines, occasional vegetables, tea and coffee, etc.
Living in comfortable shared homestay, owned by OFI staff member. Approx 1 million Rupiah per month Includes food and electricity for two weeks of the month. There are shops nearby and it is within walking distance of OFI Care Center facility. The house will likely be share with other OFI interns and staff members as well as the current sun bear coordinator.
• You will be expected to cover International flights to Jakarta, Indonesia as well as domestic flights to Pangkalan Bun, Kalimantan Tengah.
• 1 000 000 Indonesian Rupiah per month to cover your accommodations while in the village of Pasir Panjang, this includes a room in a local homestay and 3 basic meals a day.
• 600 000 Indonesian Rupiah for 2 round trips to field site per month.
• You will also be responsible for the cost of initial visa which OFI will help you acquire, as well as renewals 3 times during the 6 months.
• You are responsible for basic field equipment. OFI can provide sleeping mat and mosquito net for in field. However you should come equipped with field footwear, a compass, and a list of other recommended items that will be provided to the successful applicant.
About sun bear conservation:
The Malayan sun bear is understudied, and little conservation action has been targeted at it. The Malayan sun bear has been listed on Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) since 1979, which prohibits international trade, and the killing of the sun bear is prohibited under national wildlife protection laws, however, little enforcement of these laws occurs. The Malayan sun bear is part of an international captive breeding programme and has a Species Survival Program under the American Zoo and Aquarium Association. More research is required as only recently have field studies started to investigate the basic biology, ecology, and behaviour of wild sun bears. Conservation of sun bears needs to focus on protection of their forest habitat, proper management of these areas, strict enforcement of their legal status, minimizing human-bear conflict near forest areas, and halting trade in bear parts. (from http://www.arkive.org/malayan-sun-bear/helarctos-malayanus/#text=Conservation)
HOW TO APPLY
To apply, please follow these steps:
1. All applicants must be members in good standing of OFI. To join OFI, please visit: http://www.orangutan.org/how-to-help/donate-to-orangutans. The fee is $35 for a student or senior membership.
2. Fill out the Long-term volunteer application form at: https://spreadsheets.google.com/embeddedform?formkey=dHY3eWNsNnI4UGZZQ2tJTGszb3lURmc6MQ
3. Submit the following documents to email@example.com
-Proof of OFI membership
• A desire to bond with a bear cub in a holistic way
• Readiness to spend 10 hours a day alone in the forest with the bear, 2 weeks a month
• Must be mature, wanting to give protection, love and lots of time to the orphan cub
• Background/interest in biology, zoology, ecology or related field
• Interest in behavioural observation data collection
• Experience working in hot, bug ridden, heavily forested and preferably tropical environments
• Comfortable with extremely basic and isolated living conditions: one room hut shared with other camp staff, no electricity or running water, 1.5hr walk + 30min boat ride to nearest town, no reception
• A decent level of fitness, capable of walking long distances each day carrying a light load (lunch, water, camera, data collection sheets, etc.)
• Confidence and willingness to supervise the project, while maintaining good relationships with the field assistants and other OFI staff
• A basic level of Bahasa Indonesia or an interest in learning the Indonesian language as this will significantly increase your success rate as well as enjoyment of the position
This is an unpaid internship position.
provided for internship/volunteer positions (travel, meals, lodging):
See "Costs" section above.
Term of Appointment:
6 months or more (negotiable), beginning ASAP
824 South Wellesley Avenue
Los Angeles, MA 90049
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