Malaysia Zoo Assistant

From £1,199.00

Highlights

Zoo Keeper volunteers in Malaysia

Trip Highlights

  • Work in a zoo that is home to over 1,000 animals of 100 different species
  • Pass on your new found zoo keeper knowledge as a guide to visitors
  • Work closely with the native species such as Orangutans as well as many other animals
  • Improving conditions for the animals
  • Opportunity to work very closely with endangered species

Trip Summary

Travel to Malaysia and help out the zookeepers, learning about the likes and dislikes of the Malayan sun bear, chimpanzees, elephants, tigers and much more. Typical tasks may include preparing food and feeding animals, catching the animals, working as a guide and of course cleaning out the enclosures.

Working with animals such as the native orang-utan, this is undoubtedly a rewarding and fun volunteer project, suited to all animal lovers who are keen to learn about exotic Asian animals with the added bonus of being based in an amazing location.

Interested and want to find out more? Download more trip information and detailed itinerary HERE!

Trip itinerary

Day On the first day of your project you should report to the zoo office at the main entrance at 8am. Your task will be to take care of animals as a zookeeper assistant would. Working with the zoo team you will gain insight into zoo animal behaviour and take part in the “behind the scenes” action of maintaining the zoo. Towards the end of your project you maybe involved in a project planning for zoo enrichment and visitor education. These projects aim to improve the quality of life of the animals and win a deeper appreciation from visitors at the zoo and its furry guests.

During your volunteer work you may be involved in the following duties:

  • Working with the zoo keeper
  • Assist keeper in feeding
  • Assist keeper in catching animals for veterinary, cleaning and maintaining purposes
  • You will rotate working with different animals every two to four days
  • Daily maintenance work
  • Learn about animals behaviour in the zoo
  • Hands on work with the zoo animals
  • Feed Zoo animals
  • Involvement in zoo enrichment
  • Involvement with education within the zoo for the visitors
  • Help with building new exhibits and extensions to improve the zoo facilities
  • Work as a zoo guide to school children and tourists
  • Improve signage at the zoo
  • Work hours from 8.00am to 5pm

The Zoo Keepers expect volunteers to show some initiative whilst working.

It is advisable to do some research into animals and their behaviour in the wild before arrival and perhaps visit a zoo before you depart, so you have some understanding of how they work. The zoo greatly appreciates volunteers coming up with new enrichment ideas. You must check with the zookeeper or supervisor before implementing the activity.

Volunteers will be able to interact with the animals under the supervision of the zookeeper or supervisor as these are wild animals and can be unpredictable. Health and safety is paramount at the zoo and the keepers take this very seriously.  

The work that is carried out at the zoo is broken into 3-4 parts:

Enrichment
The idea of enrichment is to stimulate the animals and improve their living conditions as much as possible to mimic their natural habitat.

  • You can make fruit ice trays for the animals
  • Buy special fruit to give a variation on diet
  • Put branches from fig or fruit trees in their homes to observe behaviour
  • Rope work - make this fun and varied for the animal
  • Paint the interior of the ape or primate centre
  • Take a look around the zoo and think of natural materials that could be used for enrichment

Examples of past volunteer ideas:

  • Hanging paper from cages for orang-utans to play with
  • Hiding fruit around cages to mimic their natural habitat

Education
Volunteers should learn as much as possible about the animals. You may be asked to guide and talk to school children about them. You may also be asked to prepare displays and information on them.

Husbandry
This involves cleaning cages and feeding. Cleaning is vital to the zoo, 100% hygiene is required to prevent diseases. You must be capable of cleaning up animal faeces - this can be extremely smelly!!

Construction
You may be asked to design and work on small construction projects to improve the night dens or enclosures of selected animals, this may include assisting in building new exhibits and extensions to improve the zoo facilities, or improving existing exhibits by adding furniture or painting. You will also be required to clean up after enrichment activities. 

Upon your arrival at the guesthouse you will have the chance to relax. You will have a 'meet and greet' with the other volunteers on your programme and a welcome lunch or dinner. Additionally you will have a brief orientation to welcome you to the country. In the orientation the programme coordinator will inform you of the details of your placement and the duties involved, additional contact numbers that you may need to know, things to do and an introduction to Malaysian culture and life.

Your orientation will include the following:

  • An induction to Malaysian values and culture
  • Safety and health issues while in Malaysia
  • Workplace etiquettes, ethics and other information prior to starting your project
  • Transportation and money in Malaysia
  • An induction to the region you will work in
  • Local practices and food
  • Places in Malaysia to visit during free time

You will be placed at the Zoo, situated 13km outside Kuala Lumpur.

The day after your arrival you will leave your guesthouse in Kuala Lumpur and travel to the Melaka Zoo & Night Safari, which is about 1.5 hours drive from the centre of KL. When you arrive at the zoo you will check into your accommodation, unpack and unwind. You will meet your programme mentor and you will have a zoo orientation. You will be given a thorough health and safety talk a tour of the zoo and then you will go shopping for food etc. You will begin working with the animals the following day.

The schedule of which animals you will be working with will be determined by the needs of the Zoo.

Day 1: Arrival and Welcome

You will met upon arrival at the airport and then transferred to your twin share accommodation. You will enjoy a welcome dinner and briefing in the evening.

Overnight in Kuala Lumpur.

Day 2: Orientation

After breakfast, you will be transferred to your project site. Upon arrival, you will meet your programme coordinator who will show you to your accommodation and then take you on a short zoo orientation. You will be given a thorough health and safety talk, a tour of the zoo and then you will go shopping for food etc.

Overnight in the zoo.

Days 3 to 27: Project Days

A typical working day as a volunteer will start around 8am and finish around 5pm. You will be given 2 days off a week - usually at weekends but this may change. During your free time you may choose to explore other parts of Malaysia at your own expense or stay at the volunteer accommodation.

Overnight from days 3 to 27 in the zoo.

Day 28: Departure

Today you will leave the project, bid farewell to your new friends and transfer to the airport for your flight home or to continue with your travels.

Please note: Changes to the activities will occur subject to weather conditions, festivities, zoo and project requirements. Some or all of the above activities may or may not be included on your itinerary. Other activities not mentioned above may also be included on your itinerary subject to weather conditions, community and project requirements. 

Destination Information

The country of Malaysia offers some amazing contrasts. Whilst Kuala Lumpur is a rapidly expanding, modern, and hi-tech city, the world’s oldest rainforests can be found in the countryside. As well as the stunning beauty of the peninsular and Borneo, Malaysia itself also boasts perfect deserted beaches and awe-inspiring mountains, making it an amazing place to travel. Kuala Lumpur is a modern day, bustling city, dominated by the infamous Petronas Towers. The city is a diverse mixture of historic temples and mosques, space-age towers, shopping malls and traders’ stalls. The locals relax in the local cafes and tourists feast at the busy streetside stalls serving food from across the continent. 

Trip Notes

What's Included

  • All transfers
  • Accommodation
  • Personal meeting and greeting
  • Welcome orientation and dinner
  • A fixed food allowance

What's Not Included

  • International Flights
  • Travel Insurance
  • Any independent travel

Additional Information & FAQ's

Minimum Age & Eligibility

18 years

Accomodation & Meals

Arrival night in Kuala Lumpur: Dormitory-style room in a city centre guesthouse, shared toilets. Set right in the heart of Kuala Lumpur, there are as many quaint little shops and eateries as there are humongous shopping malls and fancy restaurants. If you arrive early, go out there and explore. Welcome dinner is usually at 6pm but please check with the registration counter for latest updates on timing

At Melaka Zoo & Night Safari

Comfortable and basic volunteer house, shared rooms with other participants, shared toilets. This is a 3-bedroom house set within the grounds of the zoo, accommodating seven people in total. 

Facilities include two bathrooms with cold showers, a kitchen with a fridge and cooking hobs, a dining/living room. 

There are shops selling food and sundries within walking distance from the house and plenty of food stalls and a few nearby.

Please note that toilet paper is not provided.

A food allowance suitable for buying local Malaysian food, is provided and you will have basic local facilities to cater for yourselves, or you can eat out. Food is cheap and easy to purchase from hawker stalls and local restaurants - a meal can be obtained for £1-2. The fixed allowance for self-catering is given at the programme start, and volunteers can top this up if they wish. Please note that 80% of the food contains chilli though strength varies according to personal taste.

FAQs

What Is The Accomodation Like?

You will live in a volunteer house in the grounds of the Negara Zoo itself. It is a three-bedroom house with two bathrooms. Rooms are dorm style with 2-4 volunteers sharing.

Does The Accommodaion Have Access To The Internet?

The accommodation does not have internet but the nearby township has internet cafés that are within walking distance.

How Much Spending Money Would You Recommend I Take?

We generally recommend that you take around £100 per week.

I Am A First Time Traveller, And A Bit Apprehensive About Travelling On My Own. Do Many People Do This By Themselves?

The majority of our participants are solo travellers, so you will be one of many in the same position although there are no guarantees regarding volunteer numbers. We e-mail out a buddy list 28 days before you start, so you can begin to get to know one another beforehand.

Do I Need To Take A Mosquito Net?

No- All windows are netted, you will just need to remeber to shut the doors behind you.

Do I Need To Take A Sleeping Bag?

No, not unless you really want to as all bedding is provided for you.

Will There Be A Safety Deposit Box/safe?

At the zoo yes.

Extra Notes

Visa Information

Real Gap Experience are not visa experts and it is your responsibility to ensure you have the correct travel documents before your trip starts. We advise you check the visa and general entry requirements with the relevant embassy before travel. 

Visa courier service

If you prefer to use a specialist visa courier service to apply for your visa on your behalf, we recommend Visa Central who can offer you assistance and advice, making your visa application straight forward.

To investigate costs for this service click here to select the country or countries that you wish to travel to.

Reviews

Overall Rating: (8/10)

5 Reviews

I've done this trip

Write review

catherine toase

How would you rate your overall experience?

Please rate the service received from our team before departure

Please rate the service provided by the team in country

How do you rate your arrival overseas and orientation (if applicable)?

Please rate the accommodation during your stay

What were the highlights of your trip?

Working with a huge variety of animals that normally I wouldn't get to, and alongside really lovely, like-minded people

Is there anything else you would have liked to have added to your itinerary?

I would have liked/expected to get a bit of time working in the Animal Hospital section as I am a veterinary student. However I understand the health and safety issues that may come with that.

Tips for other travellers?

Bring Insect Repellent with as high a DEET content as possible! (50%) Take advantage of the cheap local food stalls and eat out to try the awesome Malay cuisine. Bring a camera! You won't want to forget anything.

tatiana burrow-lindon

How would you rate your overall experience?

Please rate the service received from our team before departure

Please rate the service provided by the team in country

How do you rate your arrival overseas and orientation (if applicable)?

Please rate the accommodation during your stay

What were the highlights of your trip?

I loved working with the tigers, and getting to see the pandas arriving at the zoo. I also loved the variety of work I was given on a day to day basis, because everyday was different!

Is there anything else you would have liked to have added to your itinerary?

More time working in other areas of the zoo, apart from the ape centre. 2 weeks out of 4 was too long, and it left my last 2 weeks chaotically trying to fit in the rest of the zoo, as much as I will admit i loved the ape centre.

Tips for other travellers?

1. Bug spray and lots of it. The stronger the better and reapply frequently! 2. Dont shy away from exploring KL. Its only a short distance away and its easily accessible. 3. Try as many of the local foods as you can! they are all divine.

Georgia Laycock

How would you rate your overall experience?

Please rate the service received from our team before departure

Please rate the service provided by the team in country

How do you rate your arrival overseas and orientation (if applicable)?

Please rate the accommodation during your stay

What were the highlights of your trip?

The orangutans

How would you rate your overall experience?

Please rate the service received from our team before departure

Please rate the service provided by the team in country

Please rate the accommodation during your stay

What were the highlights of your trip?

Coming into close contact with a variety of animals on a day to day basis!! Especially the orangutans!!

Tips for other travellers?

Always wear bug spray Have a good rainjacket Be prepared to work hard

How would you rate your overall experience?

Please rate the service received from our team before departure

Please rate the service provided by the team in country

Please rate the accommodation during your stay

What were the highlights of your trip?

meeting a group of people that i hope i will stay with friends with for many more years. Getting to work up close with the animals

Tips for other travellers?

Be prepared for really hard work, such as carrying full wheel barrows of sand. Take spare everything because when it rains it pores and you will definately get drenched. Have an open mind and don't give up before your time has really started

When Do I Want To go?

Showing all departures (26)

Malaysia Zoo Assistant - 14 Days 5th Dec 2016 £1,199 Book Now
Malaysia Zoo Assistant - 28 Days 5th Dec 2016 £1,899 Book Now
Malaysia Zoo Assistant - 28 Days 5th Jan 2017 £1,699 Book Now
Malaysia Zoo Assistant - 14 Days 5th Jan 2017 £1,199 Book Now
Malaysia Zoo Assistant - 28 Days 5th Feb 2017 £1,699 Book Now
Malaysia Zoo Assistant - 14 Days 5th Feb 2017 £1,199 Book Now
Malaysia Zoo Assistant - 28 Days 5th Mar 2017 £1,699 Book Now
Malaysia Zoo Assistant - 14 Days 5th Mar 2017 £1,199 Book Now
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Malaysia Zoo Assistant - 28 Days 5th Aug 2017 £1,699 Book Now
Malaysia Zoo Assistant - 14 Days 5th Sep 2017 £1,199 Book Now
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Malaysia Zoo Assistant - 28 Days 5th Nov 2017 £1,699 Book Now
Malaysia Zoo Assistant - 14 Days 5th Dec 2017 £1,199 Book Now
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