Wildlife volunteering in Bolivia

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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Wildlife volunteering in Bolivia


The project based at the Bolivia Wildlife Sanctuary aims to significantly reduce the amount of wild animals trafficked for the pet trade in the country, by rescuing those destined for a life in captivity, and by educating local people about the importance of protecting these animals in the wild. Since its conception, the sanctuary has rescued and rehabilitated many animals of countless species, with all possible being released back into the wild. It has also managed to raise a number of baby monkeys through the surrogate parent programme.

This work is vastly important because it allows animals that would otherwise have been sold into a life of captivity and misery, another chance to live freely and often back in their natural habitat. It also means that awareness of the value of wildlife species in this area is raised, as more and more tourists visit the sanctuary and learn about its work.


The interaction of the project staff and volunteers with the area’s indigenous communities is also vitally important, as it unites the local people with the common goal of conserving the indigenous species, flora and fauna. The sanctuary is well on its way to becoming a vitally important ecotourism destination, which impacts positively and sustainably upon the surrounding environment and communities. This outcome will greatly benefit the area's local people as well as the animals resident at the sanctuary itself.

In addition to this, many of the staff members who work in the sanctuary to care for the animals and also to mentor volunteers are employed from the local communities. Bolivia's remote areas are often stricken with severe poverty, and it is this which forces many local people to turn to animal trafficking as a source of income. Carrying out the conservation work at this wildlife centre is essential in displaying the money that can be made by local people through the success of responsible, eco-tourism ventures that have the well-being of the area's wildlife at heart. This will hopefully mean that underprivileged locals do not need to turn to trafficking to make an income anymore; a good result for the community and environment.

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