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01869 338890

Volunteer at a Wildlife Centre in the Caribbean

Ollie volunteered at the Belize Caribbean Wildlife Centre with PoD. The Wildlife Centre is home to over 125 native animals including jaguars, pumas, ocelots, tapirs, harpie eagles, crocodiles, howler monkeys, gibnuts, scarlet macaws, toucans, king vultures, boa constrictors, coral snakes and many more beautiful and incredible animals of Central America.

A jaguar was one of the animals Ollie encountered at the Caribbean Wildlife Centre"My time at Belize Caribbean Wildlife Centre was very eye opening. This was the first time I had been out of Europe and the way of life in Belize is like a whole new world! I was looked after very well by all the staff starting as soon as I got to the airport, who were very friendly and fun to be with. I never felt lonely at any point and had a few nights out with the zoo staff at weekends and got to know them really well. At the zoo I was always busy, preparing food, feeding and spending time with the animals. I even witnessed a baby Tapir being born and one of my jobs was to monitor the baby. It was great being able to get so close to all of the animals as it is very difficult to get a job close to animals in the UK without qualifications. I had chance to travel around the country after my placement which I would really recommend to anyone, the country is beautiful and lots of things to do. I am still in contact with the staff at the zoo and also another volunteer who was there at the same time, and we are planning to return next year! Thanks PoD!"

Please describe a typical day at the project

"Prepare food for the animals (either mammals or birds), clean out enclosures, pools and make sure they have water. Spend time with some of the animals that need attention throughout the day. After lunch we prepare food for the afternoon and assist with any tours throughout the day, including holding the snake!"

What did you find most rewarding?

The most rewarding part was when the baby Tapir was born, it is very rare anywhere in the A baby tapir was born at the Caribbean Wildlife Centre during Ollie's stayworld that a baby Tapir is born in captivity so I was very lucky to be there at the right time.

What did you find most challenging?

"Belize gets very hot, In my second week the weather went into the dry season which means it will probably not rain for 3-4 months! So as you can imagine it got very hot and humid. Working in these conditions is difficult but I never felt like I didn't enjoy it."

Were there any aspects of the placement which you would like to see improved?

"Not that I can think of!"

What advice would you give others considering doing this placement?

"Get into contact with someone previously been to the zoo on a placement, I was lucky enough to speak to a previous volunteer and got a lot of information about the zoo before I arrived."

Why do you think others should volunteer abroad?

This toucan was one of the many spectacular birds at the Caribbean Wildlife CentreIf you have the opportunity I would recommend it, it can be treated as a nice get away and also a very rewarding time, also looks good on a CV!"

Why did you choose PoD and would you recommend us to others?

"After researching various companies on the internet PoD seemed the best for knowing where the money was going and being well looked after, very organised."

Any other comments?

"All the staff at the zoo work very hard and the work they do there is great! I really want to go back and I'm sure I will!"

Find out more about this project and other projects arranged by PoD


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