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The Lao Conservation Trust for Wildlife is a Lao registered wildlife rescue, conservation and education center. We have transformed the old Lao Zoo site into a world-class animal charity to improve the lives of the residents here as well as the rescued animals that arrive from the illegal wildlife trade. None of this would be possible without the help of volunteers like you!

From caring for, feeding and enriching the lives of our animals, no day in our Animal Husbandry and Enrichment Program is ever the same! Everybody who volunteers here leaves something behind, and whether it’s a permanent enrichment structure, putting in new perching for a primate or a platform for a bear, you’ll leave knowing you’ve impacted the lives of endangered rescued wildlife for years to come.

Volunteers with elephant enrichment


We use enrichment to stimulate the animals mentally and physically, helping to prevent boredom and reduce stress by providing them with activities to work on throughout the day. It’s also an essential part of the rehabilitation process, preparing them for a life back in the wild by training and encouraging them to exhibit their natural behaviors.

Our Animal Husbandry and Enrichment volunteers follow a daily enrichment schedule for the animals. We very much encourage fresh ideas and have loads of recycled materials available for your projects. Challenging the animals and having them work through new problems every day is really important for their welfare, so bring your thinking cap!

Macaques explore their new wooden house


Since we’re based on the site of the old Lao Zoo, our center is under constant development and many sections are in need of repair. Although the animals are in the most appropriate enclosures we have, there’s always more to be done! We have a busy construction schedule for building and improving homes for all the animals and you’ll be an essential part of the team.

Our volunteer program sometimes puts you right alongside with our local staff, you’ll help build new enclosures and environmental enrichment structures like swimming pools, new perching, shelters and climbing towers. If the weather’s not behaving, we’ll move indoors to work on furniture such as rope ladders, wooden houses and other small projects. We encourage you to come up with your own ideas too!

What’s the day like?

You’ll be kept busy! Our husbandry and enrichment volunteers work from 7am to 4pm, with one day off per week. Although we run with a daily “schedule”, working in the tropics and with rescued animals means the seasons, weather and needs of the animals can change unexpectedly! We’re a small team of wildlife professionals and we ask you to be patient with us if things don’t go to plan: the animals must of course always take priority. Here’s what a day in your life could look like:

08:00Morning Husbandry: You'll start the day working with one of our keeper teams to clean, prepare diets as well as feed out the animals under their care.
10:00Special Project Time: We'll be outside building new enclosures or renovating older ones. If it's too hot or raining hard, we'll move inside the enrichment room to create new larger environmental enrichment items for our animals. If you have a special skillset and are interested in helping in other ways (photography, art, writing) we are happy to try and work your strengths or passions into helping LCTW.
13:00Special Project Time Continued: Continue any ongoing special projects from the morning or start a new one to improve the animal welfare of our residents at the Center.
14:30Enrichment We have over 400 animals on site! Some need enrichment every day and others less often. Our staff can help you develop ideas based on the materials we have available, safety to the animals and durability.
15:45Cleanup Tidying up the enrichment room is a crucial part of the day in ensuring materials are easy for everyone to find and to keep everything clean and in good shape.
17:00Finished! The rest of the day is your own. You can relax with the other volunteers, wander round the center to watch some of our nocturnal species, or take a stroll to the local market.

What’s for breakfast? How do I get there? How much does it cost? Our volunteer guide has all the info you need! If you don’t find the answer to your question, please feel free to get in touch. Once you’ve decided on a program, you can apply online below!

Volunteer guide Apply online

We’re proud of what we’ve achieved with the help of our volunteers, but don’t just take our word for it: check out our reviews on Facebook and Google.