The Lao Conservation Trust for Wildlife is Laos’ first ever non-profit wildlife rescue, conservation and education centre. We are working to transform the old Lao Zoo site into a world-class animal charity and improve the lives of the residents here. None of this would be possible without the help of volunteers like you!

From caring for, feeding and enriching the lives of our animals, no day in our Animal Care and Construction programme is ever the same! Everybody who volunteers here leaves something behind, and whether it’s a pool, a climbing structure or even a new enclosure, you’ll leave knowing you’ve impacted the lives of critically endangered animals for years to come.

Volunteers with elephant enrichment


We use enrichment to stimulate the animals mentally and physically, helping to prevent boredom and reduce stress by providing them with activities to work on throughout the day. It’s also an essential part of the rehabilitation process, preparing them for a life back in the wild by training and encouraging them to exhibit their natural behaviours.

Our Animal Care and Construction volunteers follow a daily enrichment schedule for the animals. We very much encourage fresh ideas and have loads of recycled materials available for your projects. Challenging the animals and having them work through new problems every day is really important for their welfare, so bring your thinking cap!

Macaques explore their new wooden house


Since we’re based on the site of the old Lao Zoo, our centre is under constant development and many sections are in need of repair. Although the animals are in the most appropriate enclosures we have, there’s always more to be done! We have a busy construction schedule for building and improving homes for all the animals and you’ll be an essential part of the team.

Working with our local construction staff, you’ll help build new enclosures and environmental enrichment structures like swimming pools, shelters and climbing towers. If the weather’s not behaving, we’ll move indoors to work on furniture such as rope ladders, wooden houses and other small projects. We encourage you to come up with your own ideas too!

What’s the day like?

You’ll be kept busy! Our volunteers work from 8am to 5pm, with one day off per week. Although we run with a daily schedule, working in the tropics means the seasons, weather and needs of the animals can change things unexpectedly! We’re a small team of wildlife professionals and we ask you to be patient with us if things don’t go to plan: the animals must of course always take priority. Here’s what a day in your life could look like:

08:00Morning rounds: You'll start the day with animal rounds, feeding, cleaning enclosures and making enrichment for newly-rescued animals as well as some of our long-term residents.
10:30Construction and special projects: We'll be outside building new enclosures or renovating older ones. If it's too hot or raining hard, we'll move inside the enrichment room to create new environmental enrichment for our animals.
13:30Enrichment rounds: We have over 400 animals on site! Some need enrichment every day and others less often. Our staff can help you develop ideas based on the materials we have available, safety to the animals and durability.
16:00Finishing up: Here we finish up any projects for the day and feed any new rescues as well as some long term residents.
17:00Finished! The rest of the day is your own. You can relax with the other volunteers, wander round the centre to watch some of our nocturnal species, or take a stroll to the local market.

What’s for breakfast? How do I get there? How much does it cost? Our volunteer guide has all the info you need! If you don’t find the answer to your question, please feel free to get in touch. Once you’ve decided on a programme, you can apply online below!

Volunteer guide Apply online

We’re proud of what we’ve achieved with the help of our volunteers, but don’t just take our word for it: check out our reviews on Facebook and Google.