Close up of elephant looking at camera

During this time of uncertainty and fear, we want to highlight a few ways that we can help each other and the animals we care about, without putting anyone at risk.

Sadly all of the Animal Experience International centres around the world have temporarily stopped taking volunteers - so the ways we can help won't involve travel at this time. This is about all of us pooling our collective resources to help the animals we all love so much. 

Many of the conservation and domestic animal centres that we support have volunteer donations as their main source of income. The hands-on work of the volunteers means programs can run, that animals are being cared for, that conservation efforts can go forward. It also frees up the time of staff, scientists and veterinarians so that they can do specialized work such as providing medical support to the animals or working on conservation research. The volunteer fees help buy things like food and medication, fund the rescue and release of wildlife, fund spay and neuter programs, and other essential work. In this completely unprecedented time with no volunteers at these centres (both now and for the foreseeable future) our partners are at a loss as to how to operate. Their work continues - there are locals on the ground who are leading these efforts and they have some contingency funds. But if we don't support them in this time of need the consequences will be disastrous. Animals in the care of the centres will NOT suffer, but debts will grow and conservation and welfare groups who go out to tag wildlife, protect sea turtle nests and vaccinate dogs will have to stop. This will harm conservation efforts now and into the future.  

Many of us are looking at the coming months with trepidation. But we want everyone to remember, we are all in this together and we can all help each other during these challenging times. Provide hope by making a donation to a centre where you have volunteered, or one where you are heading to in the future or dream to go one day. Every little bit will help.

Any donation will remind our conservation and animal welfare partners around the world that they are not alone. 

Donations are needed for our elephants and wildlife rescue centre in Thailand; our sea turtle conservation group in Costa Rica, for European dolphin conservation, Guatemalan wildlife rescue, Spanish galgo efforts, Spanish horse rescue, Southern African wildlife rehabilitation, and all the other important programs that we and our amazing volunteers support. We are all hurting and we are all a little scared, so let's spread the love today and donate to these centres who, even in this crisis, are animal and conservation heroes. 

To donate directly through the Animal Experience International website select "Pay Fee" and then select "Donate" letting us know which program you would like to support. Or contact us for more information.

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About The Author

Nora Livingstone's picture

Nora Livingstone is the Co-Founder and CEO of Animal Experience International, a B Corp that matches animal lovers with beneficial and adventurous volunteer experiences around the world. She has volunteered with animals in more than 25 countries, including Croatia, Mongolia, Sierra Leone, and Guatemala. Nora holds a double major from Trent University in Environmental Studies and Cultural Anthropology and holds internationally recognized certifications for guiding, leadership, crisis intervention, and deployment during natural disasters. She carries a tiny plastic horse and stuffed mouse with her every time she travels.

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