Endangered Primate Rescue Center – More Than Just Volunteering

Let start with a fact! Every two years, primate experts compile a report that highlights 25 primates that are in severe crisis (Dasgupta, S 2015). A similar crisis is happening in Southeast Asia, where trade in wildlife is leading to the extinction of many primates. There are desperately needed conservation measures, attract public and government attention.


This is when the Endangered Primate Rescue Centre (EPRC) was established which is dedicated to rehabilitating, breeding, and studying the unique primates. Located in Cuc Phuong National Park, Ninh Binh, The EPRC is home to 150 primates representing 15 different species and sub-species, including several varieties of critically endangered langurs such as Cat Ba langur, Delacours langur and the Grey Shanked Douc langur. Their goals are to rescue animals and return them either to the wild or to well functioning captive groups.


Why volunteer at EPRS

This is a good chance for you to incorporate volunteer work into travel, creating a unique travel experience. There are several reasons that you should volunteer at EPRS.

-You can read a lot about endangered primates, you can see all the pictures however till you have actually experienced yourself, you would be surprised how diverse it is. The insight gained into Vietnam’s Endangered Primates is worth the effort.


-What is it like to be a wildlife keeper? Have you ever wondered? Lending us your helping hands in our long term effort and you can have the experience of your life time of being a wildlife keeper and witness Vietnam’s rarest inhabitants in a natural and protected environment. But please remember that physical contact with the animals is unnecessary and discouraged to avoid disrupting the animals’ natural processes. Other than that, the no petting policy is also applied at EPRS.

-What if you don’t have animal experience? Don’t worry, as long as you want to challenge yourself. If you have other skills such as research, construction, graphic design or education, your skills can be developed throughout exploring and working during your volunteer placement.


-Together we can make a difference by assisting in a conservation program with direct outcomes for endangered species. You would be surprised to see the contribution you can bring about.

-The center has a total of 20 full time employees from the local ethnic Muong group. Not only is there a chance to support locals but also to embrace the culture differences and learn about the local culture and the issues regarding conservation in Vietnam. These people are committed to raise the voice to protect wonderful Vietnamese nature and wildlife. The mutual purpose would bring you and the locals together in fellowship and give you a sense of belonging.



What can you do at EPRS

We will walk you through a day at EPRS to see the unique experience you get as a volunteer. The work there are varies all the time however, your general volunteering work are too support our local keepers to prepare animal food, feed and clean enclosures. You will be trained to undertake these duties.

Other than that, there are various activities that you can provide support:

-Repair and construct cages

-Build and install enrichment items

-Give tours to visitors to the EPRC

-Garden and upkeep of grounds

-Update animal records

-Assist in design and distribution of promotional materials

-Assist in data collection and collation

As mentioned above, volunteers must follow the policy of EPRC regarding physical contact with animals. There are several cases that are required extra care, attention and contact. This is when the instruction of EPRC family comes into handy.


And of course, you have weekends free to explore the surrounding areas such as Cuc Phuong national park, Trang An, Van Long, just to name a few.

Travel Tips 

-No petting, again

-Medical services in at Cuc Phuong are very limited with the closest well equipped centers being in Hanoi. Before your departure, it is important to have adequate protection against disease. It’s advisable to contact the doctor before two months for the latest medical advice, especially if you suffer from any medical condition. A proof of a health check showing negative status for Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, and TB, and evidence of a Tetanus vaccination are required for volunteers. You are also required to provide proof of insurance that covers medical emergencies.

Additionally, make sure you travel with a full supply of any prescribed medicine you take. Every traveler is responsible to his/her own health. These below hospitals are fully equipped with effective medical facilities.

-Observe local dress and follow accordingly. Respect culture and dress conservatively

-Be open minded and eager to learn

-Learn the basic Vietnamese

Author: Hong Anh

Hong Anh is a true story-teller. For her, travelling is about stepping out of your comfort zone. Each of her stories is a unique travel experience that is told and illustrated by her own distinctive style.

Hong Anh