Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary

Costa Rica


Wildlife Rescue, Rehabilitation & Conservation

Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary Volunteer Program

Volunteering at Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary gives you the opportunity to actively participate in our wildlife rescue, rehabilitation and conservation program here in Costa Rica. As a volunteer you are able to work with a range of injured and orphaned primates, mammals, birds and sometimes even reptiles. You will assist the team with daily animal husbandry tasks, such as cleaning enclosures, preparing and providing food, maintaining enclosures, and designing and collecting materials for environmental enrichment. You will meet lots of like-minded, new people and have opportunities to explore the local area, walk in pristine wilderness and experience genuine Costa Rican culture.

Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary accepts volunteers from all over the world, who can commit to a minimum stay of 1 week and a maximum of 3 months.  We also accept walk-in volunteers (non-residential) who can commit to a minimum of 5 days (see RATES AND LODGING page for details).

We invite local residents to volunteer at Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary for a minimum commitment of one regular morning per week, on a permanent/long-term basis.

pdfVolunteer Handbook 2018.pdf


Frequently Asked Questions

Wildlife Husbandry/Veterinary Internship

Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary has collaborated with Universities in Canada, The United States and Europe. We offer internships for those students studying for an undergraduate or postgraduate degree in wildlife husbandry, zoology, wildlife conservation, veterinary technician, and veterinary training. We offer a rolling application for internships, and upon receipt of your application we will contact you for a Skype interview. Applicants must commit to a minimum of one month and be able to cover the costs of their stay at the sanctuary including transit to and from the sanctuary and air travel fares. Please look at our lodging and rates to view the different housing and pricing options. Cost for accommodation covers breakfast 7 day a week, and lunch and dinner five days per week. A supervisor will be assigned to each student.

Wildlife Conservation & Animal husbandry internship:

Students studying conservation biology, wildlife conservation, environmental science, zoology or a related degree will benefit from participating in the Wildlife Husbandry Internship. The minimum recommended duration for an internship is 4 weeks but ideally students will stay for 8 - 12 weeks. Wildlife Husbandry Interns will typically spend the duration of their time between the different sections of the organization, including the rehabilitation facility, the sanctuary area for animals that cannot be released, and the veterinary clinic. Interns will work together with other volunteers and assist in the daily cleaning of enclosures, feeding, enrichment provision, enclosure maintenance and animal welfare. Additionally, interns will be given the opportunities to aid in setting up camera traps and analyze the footage collected, track collared, two-toed sloths in the wild, and assist in positive reinforcement training with some of our sanctuary animals. The interns together with the volunteers at the sanctuary should understand what it takes to run a rescue, rehabilitation and release program and comprehend the physical work involved in maintaining animals in a captive environment. Additionally, interns will assist at least once per week with orphan and sick animal care, which will include day and night time feedings of juveniles. When opportunities arise, interns can assist with clinical procedures, administration, marketing, fundraising, research and education opportunities.