Associate Veterinarian Position, Tacugama Chimpanzee Sanctuary

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Tacugama Chimpanzee Sanctuary

Nov 10, 2022, 1:23:25 PM11/10/22
to Primate-jobs
Tacugama Chimpanzee Sanctuary is hiring an Associate Veterinarian!


Tacugama Chimpanzee Sanctuary was established in 1995 by the Government of Sierra Leone, through the help of conservationist Bala Amarasekaran and the Conservation Society  of Sierra Leone to rescue, care for and rehabilitate confiscated pets and orphaned or abandoned wild chimpanzees. It plays a vital role in conserving and protecting chimpanzees in the wild through education, communication and legal enforcement. 

Tacugama is located 30 minutes from Freetown, the capital of Sierra Leone, in West Africa. 

Everything we do starts with the chimps and transitions into wildlife conservation, research,  environmental protection, advocacy, law enforcement, community preservation, and  education and ecotourism development initiatives. 


Tacugama Chimpanzee Sanctuary requires an ASSOCIATE VETERINARIAN (DVM or  equivalent) to support the Senior Manager of Animal Health and Welfare.  


  • Degree in Veterinary Medicine from a recognized university. 

  • Fluent in English. 

  • Minimum one year experience working with wildlife in captive settings (sanctuaries,  zoos, rescue centres) – internships and externships can be considered as experience 

  • Knowledge of and experience with medical equipment (radiographs, ultrasound,  blood analysis, etc.), anaesthesia procedures and monitoring, basic laboratory  techniques and pathology, sampling and post-mortem examination (through lectures,  diploma courses, internships/externships, clinical experience) 

  • Proficiency with basic computer skills including Microsoft Office 

  • Demonstrated experience in team management and ability to inspire and motivate  others 

  • Be willing to live in relatively basic conditions 


  • Knowledge and some experience with primates and/or great apes is highly valued.

  • Previous experience working abroad, preferably in Africa.  

  • Enjoy working with others to develop their knowledge and skills in personal and  working life. 

  • Be an honest, energetic person, willing to learn, to put medical knowledge into practice, to provide solutions to medical problems, and be able to effectively implement treatment plans. 

  • Knowledge of remote drug delivery systems is preferred. 


Under supervision of the Senior Manager of Animal Health & Welfare, the associate veterinarian is responsible for the daily health and welfare of the 115 resident  chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes verus), located in the sanctuary. 

The position will be responsible for coordinating and overseeing the activities of the animal  care staff, including organic waste management, enrichment program, health & safety,  appropriate cleaning of the dens and enclosures, daily chimpanzee nutrition program, among other activities.

  • Observation and general management of chimpanzee health following standard operating procedures (daily sanctuary rounds). 

  • Respond to identified health problems, including dispensing and/or administering medications. 

  • Assist in the implementation of disease prevention measures and emergency medical care. 

  • Assist in health checks and close monitoring of newly rescued chimpanzees in quarantine (deworming, vaccination).  

  • Help to perform basic pathology (post-mortem examination procedures, sample collection). 

  • Basic laboratory activities (fecal sampling and analysis, rapid blood tests, etc.). 

  • Coordination of the care staff team, in collaboration with the Senior Manager of Animal Health & Welfare

  • Fill in and maintain daily data records (Excel documents). 

  • Help with the ongoing disease research based on the work of several predecessors. 

  • Help with weekly capacity building. 

  • Health and zoonotic disease prevention. 

  • Monitor chimpanzee diet and nutrition (quantity and ingredients offered in the diet). 

  • Inventory management of veterinary supplies (medicines and consumables). 

  • Assist with design & implementation of the chimpanzee enrichment programme,  including developing new ideas and monitoring safety and efficacy. 

  • Monthly enrichment reports to the Senior Manager of Animal Health & Welfare. 

  • Support during additional sanctuary events and activities if possible. 

  • Care for other sanctuary species which may be present (duiker, civets). 

  • Monitoring the quality of the chimpanzee drinking water (water treatment).

  • Monitoring the enclosures - dens and chimpanzee related facilities. 

  • Conduct weekly medical rounds with the Senior Manager of Animal Health & Welfare to discuss clinical cases, best therapeutic options and possible management activities. 

  • Support during events and extra activities when possible. 


(1) Senior Manager of Animal Health & Welfare 

(1) Associate Veterinarian 

(13) Care staff 

(115) Resident Chimpanzees


The position is offered as a 1-year contract with the possibility of renewal based on the  candidate’s performance. The first 3 months are considered a probationary period.  

This is a full-time, six (6) day a week position. Scheduling and public holiday vacation time  can be arranged with the Senior Manager of Animal Health & Welfare on the condition that  the sanctuary has daily veterinary coverage. 

Early and late working hours may be required on occasion to accommodate emergencies or  special circumstances. 

A monthly salary of $500 USD is provided, as well as a daily local African-style lunch. Breakfast and dinner are not provided.  

4-weeks vacation (if contract renewed), VISA fees and flight tickets are covered by TCS upon  completion of the first year. Candidates must provide their own health insurance.  


TCS is located 30 minutes from Freetown, the capital of Sierra Leone, in West Africa. 

The sanctuary will offer a private accommodation in small house that includes a bedroom, bathroom, kitchen and small living room. While water, electricity and internet are most of the time available at camp, the candidate must expect occasional shortages and be ready to live in the forested camp with basic leaving conditions.

To apply, please send your CV in English as a PDF with a cover letter, two (2) letters of  recommendation from veterinarians (and if possible specifying previous experience with  wildlife (internal medicine, clinical, laboratory, behaviour, enrichment, etc.), and indicate the  date you are available to start. Please send the application materials to: and to with the reference ASSOCIATE VETERINARIAN in the email title. 

Application date: Until the position is filled. 

Position is available immediately. 

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