Husbandry & Enrichment Experience

founded in 2018
LCTW (Wildlife Rescue Center)
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Coordinator | Emily
Coordinator | Emily
Book with Flex Option! Choose new departure dates or change to a different volunteer program at no extra costs.


Be part of a team that takes care of rescued wildlife, some of which are on the brink of extinction.
Every volunteer that comes through here will leave their mark, be it a climbing structure for our langurs, a new gibbon enclosure or a pool for our bears. Every volunteer has made a difference.
In the Husbandry & Enrichment department no two days will be the same, with each day comes new projects, animals and challenges.
Help our coordinators improve the lives of our long term residents by giving them enrichment using recycled materials through toys, obstacles, enclosure improvements or novel food items.
Our volunteer bungalows come equipped with outdoor hammocks that are perfect for relaxing after a hard day's work or on your day off and we have to say waking up to the gibbons singing never gets old.
From caring for, feeding and enriching the lives of our animals, no day in our Animal Husbandry and Enrichment Program is ever the same! This volunteer program is especially suitable for:
Age 18+

Lao Conservation Trust for Wildlife is constantly evolving, our site is based out of the old Lao Zoo and we are constantly developing it.

The Husbandry & Enrichment Program (H&E) is no different, with new days come new challenges.

Volunteers can expect to work with the different species and teams that make up our project every day!
Some days we are working with the construction team to build platforms or pools for the animals and other days we could be showing a local school group around the center to tell them about the work we do. Almost everyday we are able to take time to give new enrichment to some of our longer-term residents or work to repair enrichment that may have been broken. Some of the tasks we work on may be urgent and come unexpectedly while others are able to be planned out and implemented over the weeks to come. 

In H&E, our job is to ensure that our enclosures are as enriching as possible for the animals . Our aim is to encourage our animals to exhibit natural behaviors through play, foraging, hiding, hunting, interaction and more. We use enrichment to help our animals demonstrate these natural behaviors and keep them content. This, in turn, can reduce the likelihood of stereotypical behaviors such as: pacing, rocking, excessive grooming, etc. We can also reduce stress and increase the occurrence of natural behaviors through enrichment, enclosure design and introduction of the same species (sometimes different species) to their enclosure. 

What is enrichment? Enrichment for animal caretakers is the process of making life in captivity more exciting and more nurturing for our animals, this leads them to be happier and healthier! Enrichment comes in many forms, sometimes through renovation of their enclosure ( pool / shelter / planting trees), different feeding options, toys, novel food items and new smells. We encourage creativity in our enrichment and the use of mostly recycled materials means that we reduce our waste too! 

So what will volunteers do? Volunteers will assist their coordinators with cleaning enclosures in the morning and checking on our animals, before feeding them with their morning enrichment. After that, the day will be dedicated to projects and enrichment for different animal groups. Our coordinators work hard to give you a fun and memorable experience here at LCTW, if there is a particular species you would like are interested in learning more about or an idea you have for enrichment please let us know and we will try our best to make it happen!

Working in the tropics with wildlife, gives us plenty of practice in improvisation. Be prepared for plans to change! Tropical thunderstorms are common place in the wet season and this could lead to a day helping teams clear debris from paths or even assisting in enclosure repairs. Like the weather, our animals give us surprises from time-to-time and we appreciate the extra help and understanding when our plans change.

Typical day

On a normal day, this is what we will do:

08:00 Morning rounds: You'll start the day with animal rounds, feeding, cleaning enclosures and making enrichment for newly-rescued                 animals as well as some of our long-term residents.

10:30 Construction and special projects: 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 enrichment for our animals.

12:00 Lunch Served on site. Vegan/Vegetarian diets also catered for.

13:00 Enrichment rounds: We have around 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.

16:00 Finishing up: Here we finish up any projects for the day and feed any new rescues as well as some long term residents.

17:00 Finished! 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.

 Working with wildlife can keep you on your toes, so be prepared for our schedule to change at a moments notice. 

All of our projects and tasks are flexible, meaning, if you aren't up to it or would prefer to help us by doing something else then we are happy to let you choose something that is more to your liking. We have had volunteers from their early twenties to those who are retired. Varying ability and skills are not a problem as there is always something that we would appreciate a hand with; from assisting us with our lesson preparation for the local school to cutting up fallen trees for use as perching for our primates. 

Free-time activities

Close to our project there is a hotel pool which volunteers can use for $1.50, staff can drive you to/from the hotel. 

In our village we have markets with food, basic clothing and amenities. 

We are situated close to Phou Khao Khouay National Protected Area, access is quite difficult without your own transport but it is possible to walk to the lower foothills after a short taxi ride. 

Vientiane (the capital city) can be accessed by regular public transport from our village, in the capital you can visit various cultural and tourism sites. There are also many bars and restaurants in Vientiane with western/local food and drink.

Lao PDR is a fast developing nation but travel around the country can be slow but it is certainly worth the effort. Those who enjoy swimming, hiking and climbing in the outdoors will love spending time in Lao PDR!



In order to join the program you need to be at least 18 years old on the program start date. There might be exemptions if you can provide the permission of your legal guardian(s) or if your are accompanied by your parents.
Language Skills
You need to speak English (basic level)
Nationality Restrictions
No restrictions. Helping hands from all over the world are welcome.
Other Skills
We do not require any specific skills from our volunteers. However, if you have a skill or talent such as: carpentry, photography, graphic design, teaching or other please do let us know!
Time Commitment
Your helping hand will be required on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 08:00 - 17:00

What's Included

Services by LCTW (Wildlife Rescue Center)
The cost of coming to volunteer helps us to continue our work fighting the illegal wildlife trade. After we cover the costs of transport, accommodation and food for the duration of your stay the remainder of your donation supports our work:
  • Rescues and releases - Our team travels all over Lao PDR in order to rescue and release animals, we must be ready to go at a moment's notice. 
  • Investment in conservation and education - rescuing animals will not put an end to the illegal wildlife trade, we must campaign for change through education and workshops.
  • Enclosure construction - We have worked hard to give our animals the space they need but there is much more work to be done, the money helps us buy materials and pay the local staff.
  • Feeding the animals - We have a lot of mouths to feed, with almost 400 animals across 59 different species including: crocodiles, bears, primates, turtles and an elephant. 
  • Animal healthcare - Our vet clinic relies on your donation for supplies and equipment needed for everything from medications to wounds. Animals can come to us in poor health and we must be ready to help them.
  • Renovation & Enrichment - The constant improvement of our center means buying new material for enrichment, we use recycled materials where possible, but our resources don't last forever. 
  • Staff support - We currently employ over 60 Lao people and are the biggest employer in the area, with 7 expats on site we strive to continue our education and training to international standards.
Airport Pickup at Wattay International Airport

Ideally volunteers will arrive in Vientiane (the capital of Lao PDR), on Sunday morning for pickup between 9:30am and 10:30am. If your flight does not arrive until the afternoon then we encourage volunteers to arrive on the Saturday then stay overnight in a hotel/hostel in Vientiane.

We will arrange pickup from your hotel or the airport in Vientiane before taking you to our project, we can stop at a western style supermarket before we leave the city for you to pick up some snacks/treats that you won't find in our village. 

We will also drop you off at the airport or in the city of Vientiane after your stay with us, we are happy to give travel advice should you continue your adventure!

Our volunteers will stay in our bungalows (two volunteers in each bungalow), each with single beds and storage for your belongings. 
Each bungalow has its own hammock and veranda, perfect for relaxing after a day's work or on your day off!

Behind the bungalows you will find toilets and hot/cold showers, food will be served at the staff accommodation only 50 meters away. 
Should you need a member of staff we are around 24/7.

To make your accommodation as comfortable as possible for you, please state in your application if you would prefer to share a room with the same gender, or if you have no preference.

Food & Beverages

We will provide breakfast supplies, hot lunch and dinner. 

Food is typically Lao style, but occasionally will come with western food too. 
We do cater for vegetarian/vegan diets, please let us know in advance of any dietary requirements. 

There is also other local restaurants/bars that we will all go together and eat at, should you wish to join!

Internet Access
Limited access at the project site
What's NOT included?
Visa, flights, travel insurance or vaccinations are NOT included in the program fees.
Flight Tickets
The nearest airport is Wattay International Airport (VTE) in Vientiane. We assist you to find cheap flights to Laos.
Travel Insurance
Going abroad is an adventure and it is always best to be prepared. Sudden illness or injury, cancellation or theft - a travel insurance for Laos provides security and is a plus to have.
If you are intending to volunteer in Laos you should seek medical advice before starting your social journey. Check your required vaccinations for Laos.

Dates & Fees


Details on arrival

We accept volunteers all year round, but it is worth mentioning that some seasons are more welcoming than others. 

Hot season: February - May

Wet season: June - Sept 

Cool season: Oct - Jan

(These seasons fluctuate a bit so be prepared for the occasional rainfall during hot season)

To make your accommodation as comfortable as possible for you, please state in your application if you would prefer to share a room with the same gender, or if you have no preference.

We will arrange pickup from your hotel or the airport in Vientiane before taking you to the center, we can stop at a western style supermarket before we leave the city for you to pick up some snacks/treats that you won't find in our village. 

We will then have an induction to our program which includes an in depth tour of our center, an introduction to our Rescue Team and the animals you may be working with. You are then free to spend your Sunday afternoon relaxing at the bungalow, visiting our village or perhaps going back to see more of the animals. 

On Monday morning our coordinators will meet you for breakfast then we make our way to the quarantine center and get started with the day. 

In our village you will find a pharmacy, market for clothes/food and convenience stores. There are also ATMs in the nearby villages, one of our staff can drive you there if you need to withdraw cash. There is even a hotel pool nearby that volunteers can go to on their day off. 

(The currency in Lao is the KIP, some hotels/stores will accept dollars if the notes are in good condition, but it is better to use the local currency. Lao KIP is also a closed currency so you will not be able to get it until you enter the country)

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
1 - 24 weeks

Program fees

Costs: Prices in USD
1 week (min. stay)
2 weeks
3 weeks
4 weeks
5 weeks
6 weeks
7 weeks
8 weeks
9 weeks
10 weeks
11 weeks
12 weeks
13 weeks
14 weeks
15 weeks
16 weeks
17 weeks
18 weeks
19 weeks
20 weeks
21 weeks
22 weeks
23 weeks
24 weeks (max. stay)
Average fees
$584 /week

Please note that the above shown program fees are estimated. LCTW (Wildlife Rescue Center) will let you know about the final price during your application process.
Deposit (15%)
The deposit is simply to reserve your volunteer placement. Payments are handled by PayPal, our trusted global payment provider. If you don't have a PayPal account, you can also pay using a credit card.
Final Payment (85%)
Your final payment will be agreed with LCTW (Wildlife Rescue Center) during the application process. Common solutions are either via bank transfer or a cash payment at the project site.

Why book with Volunteer World

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We refund your fees if LCTW (Wildlife Rescue Center) cancels your trip
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Our services are free of charge!
All program fees are charged directly by LCTW (Wildlife Rescue Center).

What are people saying about Volunteer World?

Husbandry & Enrichment Experience

From caring for, feeding and enriching the lives of our animals, no day in our Animal Husbandry and Enrichment Program is ever the same!


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