Visiting WFFT Wildlife Rescue Centre

February 24, 2014 by | Filed Under: Responsible Tourism, Sustainability

Last Wednesday, we visited Wildlife Friends Foundation Thailand (WFFT) for an agent inspection. This foundation’s main objectives are rescuing wild animals, educating people, prevent hunting and promoting conservation of the animals and their living environments.

WFFT-Elephant scrubbing

Upon arrival we were welcomed by one of their volunteers, Ms. Nicole Vooijs from Holland, who did an excellent job of showing us around. She gave us a quick overview of the present state in which WFFT is; it runs several projects from hands-on wildlife rescuing, medical care, wildlife rehabilitation, research on wildlife and marine mammals, as well as the release of wild animals back to the wild.

WFFT-Nicole in the restaurant

The Wildlife Rescue Centre is built on temple land and makes good use of the space on offer by building large cages and open enclaves.

A lot of the animals that were rescued (after being reported and released with the owners’ consent) suffered most of their lives being held in small cages of individuals, at temples(!), private zoos, being (ab)used in the tourist trade or mistreated in various other ways. These animals need a lot of care, both medical and psychological, before being able to interact again with their own species.

WFFT-Non Thai animals sometimes end up here too


WFFT-Passing the bears enclave

To see various kinds of gibbons having lots of space to swing and play around is wonderful, similar for the bears who can wander around in their large cages and later in special open enclaves. Elephants are the only animals visitors can have interaction with, in the nicest way possible and only if the animals are in the right mood, visitors can feed and bathe them!

WFFT is blessed with a large number of volunteers who are continuously busy cleaning and feeding the animals. Travelers to Thailand can visit the Rescue Centre & Elephant Refuge on a full day experience and contribute that way too.

WFFT-Food area

Compared to the sadly more common interaction between tourists and animals (elephants shows, ‘selfies’ with drugged tigers, etc.) this program offers a great and positive alternative for travelers to get in touch with Thai wildlife.

You can send an email to Koen or our Thailand team via the contact form below for more information.

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