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ATTENTION: This job expired Jul. 23, 2014 and is no longer linked from the job list. If you are the job poster and would like to renew the listing, please access it through "My Job Listings" (available when logged in only).

Sun Bear Enrichment & Caretaker Internship

Hiring Organization:
Orangutan Foundation International

Date Posted:

Position Description:
About the organisation:

The OFI Volunteer Program offers a rare opportunity to not only witness firsthand the realities of wildlife and habitat protection but to be directly involved and to impact in the conservation of endangered species in Borneo. Volunteers have the opportunity to work at OFI's Orangutan Care Center and Quarantine (OCCQ) in Pasir Panjang, Kalimantan. Volunteering with OFI is an unpaid position; volunteers at the OCCQ help with OFI's field working, increasing OFI's impact while offering participants a unique insider experience.

For more information about OFI please visit our website and volunteer page:

About the internship:

Orangutan Foundation International is seeking a new sun bear volunteer to be the main care-giver of three sun bears (two juvenile and one adult) currently being housed at the OCCQ. The facility is the home of over 300 orphaned orangutans as well as several other species including long-tailed and pigtailed macaques, binturongs, a cassowary, and the three Malayan sun bears. OFI's focus is the rehabilitation of ex-captive orangutans, but the OCCQ has an open door policy to all captive animals – no animal in need is ever turned away. The care of the sun bears and other animals is assisted greatly by the sun bear volunteer as well as other volunteers at the center.

Job description:

The major responsibilities of the sun bear volunteer will be to work with other volunteers in the care of two juvenile and one adult sun bears currently housed at the OCCQ. This includes daily husbandry and routine chores such as cleaning, procuring and supplying browse for feeding, and providing and creating enrichment. The volunteer will lead an introduction of the three bears through behavioural observations as well as help lead a large (approx. 1 ha) forest enclosure construction project planned for the next year.

The three bears are currently house separately from each other, but are being readied to be introduced together in preparation for life in a new larger forest enclosure. This job will require the volunteer to become comfortable quickly with all three bears through daily contact and observations. The introduction will be assisted and supervised by OFI interns and staff, however the sun bear volunteer will be responsible for daily observations to ensure that the introduction goes as smoothly as possible. After the initial introduction of the bears, the volunteer will have the opportunity to lead the new forest enclosure project. This means being involved with planning and helping to manage the construction. OFI will offer as much support as possible throughout the entire process, however the ideal candidate will be highly organized, independent, and is willing to take initiative. The sun bear volunteer will be the point person for all others involved with the construction project. This will involve keeping records, budgets, and occasionally writing articles for the OFI website and other media as requested or as needed for fundraising.


Volunteer will be living in a local homestay, renting a room in a house owned by an OFI staff member. The homestay will be within walking distance of the OCCQ facilities. The house will likely be shared with other OFI volunteers and staff members. All arrangements will be made by OFI.

About sun bear conservation:

The Malayan sun bear is understudied 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 needed 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, and strict enforcement of their legal status to minimize human-bear conflict and halt the black market trade in sun bear body parts. (See for more information.)

Candidate Requirements:

Passion, empathy, and interest in the sun bears and their daily quality of life
Experience working closely with non-domestic captive animals (or evidence to suggest the ability to work closely with wild and/or potentially dangerous animals)
Readiness to spend many hours a day with the bears (the majority of your time will be with the bears or doing work to help them)
Background/interest in biology, zoology, veterinary or ecology or related field
Interest/experience in behavioural observation data collection
Must be mature, organized, and have leadership qualities
Comfortable living in challenging and rural environment with basic amenities and limited resources
Experience working in tropical environments
Willing to undertake labour-intensive physical work on a daily basis; a decent level of fitness is necessary for the lifting, carrying, tool use involved
Confidence and initiative to supervise the project
Cultural sensitivity, ability to build and maintain good relationships with local staff (preferably, prior experience working in a foreign environment)
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.


You will be expected to cover International flights to Jakarta Indonesia as well as domestic flights to Pangkalan Bun, Kalimantan Tengah.
2 500 000 IDR per month in rent in Pasir Panjang: includes three basic meals a day, electricity, and accommodation. Additional funds should be budgeted for miscellaneous personal expenses. (There are small local shops nearby.)
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. (approx. 1 000 000 IDR average each trip)
You are responsible for basic field equipment.

Support provided for internship/volunteer positions (travel, meals, lodging):
See "Costs" section above.

Term of Appointment:
6 months or more (negotiable), beginning ASAP

Application Deadline:

Contact Information:
Noelle Tankard
824 Wellesley Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90049

Telephone Number:

Fax Number:


E-mail Address:

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