BIG CAT TEAM
volunteer with tigers, leopards and lions
We are looking for volunteers to maintain and improve our current positive reinforcement training with Big Cats aged between 6 months and 1 year old. We are excited to be able to offer this unique opportunity to only 6 applicants every 4 weeks!
Cat volunteers are involved in all aspects of positive reinforcement training, from planning to training to showing off! Our cats receive only positive attention from volunteers and Thai staff, and they respond well - making them the stars of the park!
Most of the work is centered around the Big Cat Garden, home to up to 8 adolescent Big Cats. Each must adhere to a training schedule devised by the volunteers which ensure that all public interactions are controlled and safe.
You will also be responsible for enrichment, cleaning, and feeding of 1 elderly adult Leopard at the Rescue Retreat. Days are long, hot, wet, and exhausting, but the bond you will create with your cat and the learning experience for you both is guaranteed to make it all worthwhile.
On top of this you may be expected to create large enrichment items for the Safari's pride of Lions - think LARGE toys, platforms, games, and treasure hunts!
You must be able to think outside of the box, work well under pressure, have the capacity to learn the intricacies of cat behaviour and be able to follow safety instructions to the letter.
What is the time commitment required?
All volunteers commit to 4 weeks on Big Cats team. We will not accept anyone onto Big Cat Team for less time than this as it is not beneficial to the cats.
What is the work schedule?
In 4 weeks you can request 2 days training in other departments (Rescue, Cubs, Birds & Wildlife, Safari, Elephants, Bears etc), 3 days off, and the rest of the time on Big Cat Team. Workdays are 08:00 until 17:00, 7 days a week. Your days off start in your second week.
How much does it cost?
4 weeks on Cat Team is 47,500thb and is inclusive of accommodation (shared room with own western bathroom, balcony, air con, fully equipped kitchen), 3 meals a day (and all drinking water), all day cat time with Tigers, Lions, and Leopards, training on how to train the cats. Mopeds are sometimes available to rent for extra from the park but if they are already rented out they can be rented cheaply in the town. Budget approximately 500thb per day for extra expenses such as snacks, petrol, and ice-creams!
Will I get my own cat?
There will be between 3 - 8 cats working with this team at any one time, and with a maximum team size of 6 people. You are guaranteed plenty of one on one time with your favourite cat. If you wish to work with just one cat specifically then they will choose you and we actively encourage these trainer-cat bonds as both parties get the most out of the relationship.
How to apply
It takes 10 - 15 minutes to complete your application. You will need:
Scan or photo of passport
Proof of flight details (if booked)
Details of previous relevant experience
Details of serious medical conditions
£99 deposit to secure your place
Sample Daily Schedule
Arrive at Big Cat Garden at or before 8am.
Sweep then scrub cat garden cages and clean out the drains
Cut chicken and sweep the customer areas and paths
Hand feed and train cats to listen to simple commands
Clean up any poo in the garden and sweep the pool while cats are still inside. Fill the pool
Feed and clean rescue leopards and Blue
Clean up the chicken after hand feeding and wash the dishes
Walk the cats and train them to walk with customers
Make pork medicine - this includes cod liver oil, multi-vitamins, and taurine, wrapped in pork
LUNCHTIME - Take your lunch from the restaurant and relax at Big Cat Garden.
Play with each species individually. This is fun and it trains them to play with customers
Gather materials for enrichment and make the daily enrichment
If there is any building or fixing needed, this will be done while the cats are enjoying their enrichment
If there isn’t anything to be built or fixed at cat garden, maybe Rescue needs some help with building and fixing
General cleaning and tidying around the garden including the sink, the fridge, stuff leftover from the enrichment making, the painting area, the building area, our tables and the hut
Feed the cats their medicines and vitamins and organise them for dinner. The cats are now fed dinner
Clean up garden including toys out of the pool, empty the pool, a quick sweep for leaves, remove any poo and enrichment.
There is plenty of quiet time throughout the day for you to play with and bond with the cats