C.A.R.E. Baboon Rehabilitation and CareGivers, South Africa

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Samantha Dewhirst

Apr 14, 2023, 1:37:24 PMApr 14
to Primate-Volunteers

C.A.R.E.'s aim is to primarily to rescue, rehabilitate and release baboon orphans in need and a provide high standard of care without being needlessly intrusive.  We bond baby orphan baboons to adult surrogate baboons, forming troops for release if the opportunity to release became available (becoming increasingly challenging due to habitat loss / humans taking over viable habitats).

Our 14 ha rehabilitation centre / sanctuary, located between Hoedspruit and Phalaborwa on the banks of the Olifant's River, South Africa, is home to over 430 baboons, and a few other animals, of whom were rescued from abusive, exploitative and traumatic situations; causing them to become orphaned and in need of help.  We are situated in the heart of a nature reserve, which is home to an array of South African wildlife; elephants, hippos and giraffe are common to see roaming through the centre or close by.

The focus of animal care is to provide conditions in which the captive populations of baboons, are allowed to live out their lives with minimal human interaction and provide extensive freedom of movement, provide varied food, and choice of companions, in accordance with their social nature. 

C.A.R.E.'s mission is to end the suffering of baboons, rescue animals in need, protect wildlife and their natural habitats, and encourage compassionate conservation. 

We are seeking a full-time caregiver to join our rehabilitation team, for a 1 year commitment (or minimum 6 month commitment).

Role Description

Participate in the daily care of all animals including, but not limited to:

  • Clean enclosures (requires a certain level of fitness, the terrain is rough and temperatures can be hot)
  • Empty, clean and re-fill water bowls of the companion animals
  • Prepare and distribute food
  • Report any animal showing signs of ill health or injury to management
  • You may be asked to prepare medications 
  • Maintain digital, online records in our online databases / logs and also maintain paper files
  • Perform grounds and enclosure maintenance work as required:
  • Trim/mow vegetation around the centre to keep paths and other areas clear (which also provides vegetation for the baboons)
  • Assist with construction projects such as building enrichments, etc.
  • Make and distribute enrichment of various types
  • Help with the sorting / storing of fresh produce, dry feed, hay & other deliveries by unloading and stacking supplies / washing veggies / sorting through donated foods (very unglamorous as requires removal of un-usable and bad/rotten veggies)
  • Help with general jobs around the centre to ensure the humans all live and work well / hygienically and safely (e.g. refilling handwashes / detergents / toilet paper as needed - these tasks are rotated on a weekly responsibility list of extra jobs)
  • Sort and feed the mealworms
  • Learn to assist with the husbandry of the other animals at the centre; corn snakes, chickens, lizard(s), rabbit/guinea-pigs and any other small animals which may come in
  • Supervise nursery orphans if there are any babies needing intensive nursery care
  • Facilitate the bonding of baby baboons to adults if there are any needed
  • Other duties as required



  • Must be able to start by July 1st 2023
  • Must have experience working with wild animals in a captive setting (zoo or sanctuary)
  • Must be fluent in English, both written and verbal.
  • Ability to lift up to 50lbs, and conduct other kinds of physical work.
  • Able to work outdoors in all weather conditions, including 100 degree + weather.
  • Must be enthusiastic / team player / have the animals best interests at heart
  • Must obtain a visa to legally stay in South Africa as a volunteer (we will assist with the application)
  • Must gain / pay for their own medical insurance for the duration of their time in South Africa
  • Must pay for their own transportation to / from the centre (Flight to Johannesburg and then an internal flight or shuttle bus to Hoedspruit region


  • Experience working in an animal sanctuary or similar work environment.
  • Vet tech skills.
  • Familiarity with exotics and/or wildlife.

Person Specification:

  • Respect for, and commitment to, the centre's aims, objectives and ethos.
  • A demonstrable commitment to animal welfare.
  • The ability to work calmly around animals in a respectful and humane manner.
  • Willingness to work various shifts including weekends and holidays.
  • Commitment to follow all safety procedures and animal care protocols.
  • Willingness to move to a small, rural community; living and working onsite without transportation to the nearby town on a regular basis.
  • Willingness to live onsite at the centre in accommodation provided.
  • Ability to interact positively and work with people from different backgrounds, cultures, or personalities.
  • Be willing to train short term volunteers; having patience and good social/communication skills

Prior experience working with primates is ideal but not essential – all new employees are fully trained by our expert team.


You will be working in return for your accommodation and food / utility use (wifi access / laundry all included). No salary is provided, you must budget for your personal items (toiltries / transportation / medical needs)

How to Apply:

Please send resume and cover letter to conserve...@gmail.com  to apply.

Cover letter should include:

  • What attracted you to the role and what you feel you could bring to C.A.R.E. if successful.
  • How you feel your views align with those of C.A.R.E., in particular relating to: our hands-off approach (once the baby orphan is bonded to an adult surrogate baboon we do not interact to enable them to become as wild as possible again)
  • Details on how you feel you meet the Qualifications/Experience and Skills requirements and the Person Specification.
  • Details of any specific experience of working with primates (including, but not limited to, group management techniques and practices, whether open/closed contact environment, medication administration, enrichment, rescue and rehab etc.)
  • Any other details you would like to share with us that you would like us to take into consideration.

Job Type: Full-time, living onsite in South Africa in the heart of a big 5 nature reserve.

Kardelen Köylü

May 7, 2023, 5:07:57 AMMay 7
to Samantha Dewhirst, Primate-Volunteers
Dear Samantha,

I am Kardelen from Turkey. I am really excited for your position, I hope it is still open. Before, I worked with baboons for 6 months in South Africa. 

Samantha Dewhirst <conserve...@gmail.com>, 14 Nis 2023 Cum, 20:37 tarihinde şunu yazdı:
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