Volunteering with animals is not for everyone. It can be a tough job that some people just aren’t cut out for, and you need to be a specific type of person to really help and make the most of the opportunity. With this in mind, it is time to take a look at the reasons why you shouldn’t volunteer with the animals.
You just want to get a picture with the cute baby orangutan or cheetah
Yes, some of the animals at wildlife conservation sanctuaries or project sites are extremely cute but this does not mean they are there to be your play thing. Most are wild animals and the vast majority are in the process of being rehabilitated with the intention of being released back into the wild once the process has been completed. What may seem like a simple picture to you can actually be hugely detrimental to this process and to the health of the animals. So if you want to spend time at a wildlife conservation project or sanctuary just to get a lot of photos with the babies then you shouldn’t volunteer with animals.
If you will make it all about you and not the animals
When volunteering with animals you are there to be part of a team and help the animals, not spend time wandering around declaring “I want to do this and that”. The team you are in is at the project site to help not hinder, so you will have to muck in and do some things that may not be at the top of your priority list. These projects are all about animal conservation and not individual volunteers desires, so whilst you will be well looked after on the projects, if you are the type of person who will make it all about yourself, then you should not volunteer with animals.
If you just want a relaxing holiday
Many volunteering projects will give you the chance you see exciting and exotic places all over the world that you may have otherwise never got the chance to visit, but one thing needs to be clear and that is the fact that the projects are not a place to relax, and that they are a place to work! You will have the chance to holiday differently, and the difference is that you will be there to help the animals and not sit on a beach. If you are looking for this type of trip then you should look elsewhere, because if you are the type of person who is hoping to relax for your whole stay you should not volunteer with animals.
So you have now seen the reasons why you shouldn’t volunteer with animals, but for every one of these reasons there are more for why you should volunteer with animals! Now we know why you shouldn’t let’s take a look at why you should help these incredible creatures!
You genuinely want to help the animals
You may have a strong affinity with elephants, or it may have been your lifelong dream to help save the whale sharks, but the point is if you have a passion for aiding animal conservation around the world you are the perfect person to help at a project. If you are the type of person that understands that the animals need our help, then you are a prime candidate and you should volunteer with animals.
You are looking to learn and grow
There is no point in going to volunteer with animals if you are going to do so with a closed mind. Not only will you have the chance to learn new things if you travel with an open mind, but you will become a much more valued member of the volunteering team as you are open to trying new things which may be unknown to you, but common on the project. If you are this type of person then you should volunteer with animals.
You are enthusiastic about what you are doing
Nothing holds a team of volunteers together better than a high level of enthusiasm. If you are all on the same page and pulling together to achieve one goal then you will see the fruits of your labours a lot quicker than you may have otherwise. Enthusiasm is the cornerstone of all of these projects, as it is where new and creative ideas originate from, and it is what powers all of the animal conservation efforts at the project sites. So if you are enthusiastic about what you are doing, then you should definitely volunteer with animals!
We have taken a look at the reasons why you shouldn’t volunteer with animals and the reasons why you should. If you are the type of person who is looking to go on a project to get something without giving it back then you shouldn’t volunteer with animals, but if you have all of the attributes needed to be a good volunteer and meet all of the criteria discussed above, then volunteering is for you and you can use our project finder to select the best place to help out!
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