Zoo Assistant in Malaysia

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Program Description

Volunteers have weekends off which provide plenty of opportunities to explore colourful Kuala Lumpur and its surrounding areas.

While working with the Zoo Keepers, you will have the opportunity to learn some Malay and teach them some English. Low levels of English are the main reason zookeepers have trouble communicating.

Your support and contribution help to improve the standards of zoos. The facilities of zoos in Malaysia and much of Asia are not what you are used to at home. Though a long process, a lot of effort is being made to improve conditions of captive animals to an internationally acceptable level.

This programme will also allow you a chance to learn more about orangutans as well as a wide variety of Malaysian animals and their need for enrichment. The aim of the programme is to have you work with the Malaysian zookeepers to improve conditions of the animals living at the zoo. At the Zoo, you will be working with a variety of animals, with a focus on orangutans, on husbandry and enrichment activities.

Volunteers begin their programmes in the vibrant capital city of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. You will have time to explore the night life of KL, as it is unofficially referred to, and then transfer the next day to the first part of your programme at a local zoo.


You will act as a zookeeper during your time as a volunteer. While under suitable monitoring by professionals, you will interact with great apes, including orangutans.

Responsibilities may include:
Education -
You may be asked to guide and talk to school children about the zoo. You may also be asked to prepare displays and information on the animals in the zoo at the education centre and library. Volunteers should learn as much as possible about the animals.

Construction -
You may be asked to design and work on small construction projects to improve the night dens or enclosures of selected animals. This includes helping in constructing new exhibits and extensions to improve the zoo facilities, or improving existing exhibits by adding furniture or painting.

Enrichment -
The purpose of enrichment is to stimulate the animals and improve their living conditions as much as possible to mimic their natural habitat. Activities may include:
- Hiding food around cages to encourage foraging behaviour
- Rope work – make this fun and varied for the animal
- Put branches from fig or fruit trees in their homes to observe behaviour
- Buy special fruit to give a variation on diet
- Provide leaves in cages for bedding and nesting purposes

Husbandry -
Some daily maintenance work may be included and you always have to clean up after enrichment activities.

Husbandry also includes cleaning cages and feeding. You must be capable of cleaning up animal faeces – this can be extremely smelly!! You will rotate working with different animals depending on the needs of the zoo, the keepers, or the animals themselves within the primates or ape section as well as in other sections. Cleaning is vital to the zoo as better hygiene helps to prevent disease.


No special skills or qualifications are required - just a minimum age of 18 and a willingness to get involved with all activities.

Volunteer Types

What`s Included

•English speaking programme facilitator
•Meal allowance
•Meet and greet at Kuala Lumpur Aiport (KLIA) OR Low Cost Carrier Terminal (LCCT), Malaysia
•Arrival and departure transfers between project site and Kuala Lumpur Airport
•Welcome dinner
•Induction and orientation at Zoo Negara

Other Programs From The Same Provider

Program Locations

Kuala Lumpar, Malaysia

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Program Details

The Great Projects
  • Malaysia: Kuala Lumpar
Throughout the year
Program Duration:
1-2 weeks, 1-3 months
American, Asian, Australian, Canadian, European, Kiwi, South African, Worldwide
From £995.00
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