Rhianna Kay, 19, Ireland – February 2015

I came to the LWC during my gap year and to gain practical experience with animals. The main role of volunteers is to run the orphan care unit which includes bottle feeding baby duikers, baboons and monkeys in the orphan care unit. We also have to sit with the baby monkeys as a surrogate mother until they can get a real mum or are old enough to be integrated into a troop. Other day to day things in orphan care include collecting browse for enclosures, cleaning enclosures and chopping fruit and veg. I have also had the opportunity to help in animal care, distributing food for the older animals, such as hyenas, servals, monkeys and baboons. It can be tiring volunteering here but the work is very satisfying and totally worth it. The best thing about volunteering at the centre for me is that it’s actual work. It’s not just about coming to play with animals, it’s about the animals’ welfare and trying to get them to a point where they can one day be released into the wild. The centre is also a lovely place to stay. Everyone is really welcoming and is happy to help with any problems you have and the scenery is amazing. It’s been a brilliant experience and I recommend anyone to come.