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Danielle Jones - Thailand Zoo  Assistant

Going on to study Animal Behaviour at University, the Thailand Zoo Assistant project was the perfect way for Danielle to get her foot in the door of working alongside animals. This project works with animals that have suffered, to care and protect them in their recovery. Here's how Danielle got on!

1. Why did you choose this particular project?

I chose to do this project because I love all animals and I wanted to get experience working with lots of different types of animals and this place looked perfect! Once I had seen the other volunteers pictures I knew I had to go.

2. What kind of work and activities did you do during your project?

During my time here I took part in daily husbandry activities like cleaning out the animals enclosures and feeding them, that doesn't take to long and then you get to play with the animals and make new enrichment for them to enjoy.

3. How did the local culture and people differ? What were the locals like?

The culture was a big shock for me, this was the furthest I had been on my own and I didn't quite know to expect. It was very different but very beautiful! The Thai people are very lovely, and very friendly.

4. What was the accommodation like?

The accommodation was basic but has everything that you need to live happily. It's two people to a room and the rooms are really big!

5. What were the staff and other volunteers like?

I've never met a friendlier and diverse buch of people before. If you ever need anything they will be there to help and you make friendships and bond so fast! I've made life long friends with the other volunteers.

6. What was the most amazing moment and what’s your best memory?

My best memory... it's had to choose your do so many incredible things like hand feeding rice balls to the elephants, or swimming in the lake as the red sun goes down behind the mountains (that was a surreal moment). So many to choose from!

7. Do you feel like the work you were doing was worthwhile?

The work that the volunteers do that is definitely worthwhile! The volunteers do so much to make sure the animals have a better life there.

8. What sort of wildlife did you encounter?

There are so many gecko lizards there, you will have loads in your room but that's good because they stay away from you and eat the bugs! On my last day I found a little scorpion in my room but it didn't bother with me.

9. What were you hoping to learn while on project and have you achieved those goals?

I wanted to learn more about the animals and enrichment and I definitely did. They have binturong there, I didn't even know these animals existed but they are so cute and it was incredible getting the opportunity to work hands on with them.

10. Any tips and advice you might like to pass on to future volunteers?

Bring mosquito spray! Drink lots of water and bring a mix of comfortable clothes to work in and some nice clothes to go out in as the town isn't to far away. Maybe bring some snacks from your home that you like.

11. What do you have planned next?

I'm currently at home in England for the next 3 years while I study animal behaviour at University but I'm currently planning on going back to the safari in Summer! It was the best experience of my life and I didn't want it to end. I highly recommend this project!

By Danielle Jones - Thailand Zoo Assistant

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