Let’s face it, we are all a bit green with envy when we see those dreamy photos of people diving with sea turtles and hanging with elephants! But before running out and choosing an animal volunteer project, here are some important aspects to look for to ensure that you are helping our furry friends in a positive way.
Do Your Research!
At TFT, we are huge believers in giving back to the communities that host us on our travels, and those communities include the local animals and wildlife that also call these destinations home! We seek out service projects that are ethically and environmentally conscious — ones that allow us to contribute to the local culture in a meaningful and lasting way.
Is It Ethical?
Whether it’s volunteering with injured animals at a rehabilitation center or contributing to research that helps biologists sustain the local sea turtle population, there are many types of animal service projects that are responsible and sustainable. It’s incredibly important to be aware that animal service can do more harm than good if it’s done in an unethical way. For example, many travelers are unaware of the inhumane treatment of elephants in tourism, so TFT strives to promote this awareness on our programs, ensuring that our travels go on to teach others about ethical travel and voluntourism.
Ask About The Organization.
Our program participants learn that elephants are incredible creatures that humans are only just beginning to understand, and what we’ve come to learn is that riding elephants is extremely detrimental to their emotional and physical well-being. So while those photos atop elephants might look great on social media, they’re doing real harm to the featured creatures. In our mission to serve in a socially conscious way, our projects in Thailand and Laos work with sanctuaries that rescue and rehabilitate elephants from the riding tourism industry.
Bond With The Animals!
So if you want to chow down on bamboo with pandas, clown around with koalas, trot alongside reindeer and work with Iditarod huskies in training, or mingle with monkeys – be sure to look for programs that encourage ethical practices and treatment of the animals they work with! Our programs will allow you to create real bonds with amazing creatures from around the globe.