The gibbons were relocated to the acclimatisation cage on Sunday (Nov 22), explained Emma Le Cornu, an Australian working with the volunteer project.
“We have relocated a family of five gibbons that have been rescued from an abandoned zoo to its last stage at the acclimatisation cage before releasing them someday in February 2021. To aid with their reintegration, we will be hiking daily to the site of their new home, carrying essential supplies and food for this meaningful task,” she said.
“We are looking for passionate volunteers with an intermediate fitness level to join our team trek into the forest, helping us carry supplies and food” Emma added.
The trek will be through what is considered the last remaining rainforest in Phuket. Volunteers will need to hike three hours each way, covering a distance of about four kilometres with an elevation of 420 meters.” she noted.
“We start the trek at 7am and return to the starting point before 4pm,” she added.
In addition to carrying about three kilogrammes of supplies and food for gibbons, volunteers will be asked to help observe and gather research data about the state of the rainforest.
“The reserve is an untouched, wild jungle, you MUST always follow our instructions at all times,” Emma noted clearly.
Volunteers must be at least 18 years old with an “open-minded and smiling personality.”
Volunteers must be physically fit and have personal insurance covered in case of any accidents.
Fluency in English is required and the ability to speak Thai is a bonus.
“Bring your own food and water and insect spray. The dress code requires a long sleeved top, pants and boots. We are looking for at least two to three days’ commitment,” Emma explained.
While volunteering is free, a ฿2,500 registration fee is required to join the programme.
“This small fee can only feed just a little over half of our gibbons in care for one day. However, you will also be given orientation, a shirt, and access to the national park on your work day (which normally the Park will charge you 200 Baht an entry),” Emma said.
“It is our mission to help illegally captive gibbons regain their freedom,” explained Thanaphat Payakkaporn, secretary general of the Wild Animal Rescue Foundation of Thailand (WARF), under which the Gibbon Rehabilitation Project operates.
“Forty years ago, gibbons were poached to extinction in Phuket. These small apes not only lost their habitat due to deforestation, but have been wrongly poached and sold as pets and for tourism. Since 1992, the Gibbon Rehabilitation Project has been rescuing, rehabilitating and repopulating gibbons back into the wild,” he said.
If you want to help but are unable to physically or geographically, then please visit our website where you can donate, shop and even sponsor a gibbon. Please share this with your family and friends and spread the word.
“We believe every effort can go a long way in helping return Thailand’s most intelligent wildlife species back to where they belong… in nature,” he added.
To register to volunteer with the project, visit the Gibbon Rehabilitation Project website (click here) or call them at 088 590 9714. Enquiries can also be made through the Gibbon Rehabilitation Project Facebook page (Facebook: GibbonRehabilitationProject) or by email to email@example.com.