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Volunteer ~ Be More Than Just A Tourist!

One of the Volunteers with one of our two Tapiers in their enclosure, which is overlooked by the volunteer house that you can see in the background.

Be a volunteer in our ZOO!! Located in the Ecuadorian Amazon Basin we are not only a refuge for orphaned and rescued animals for but we also help to preserve the Amazonian wildlife. By volunteering at our zoo you will have a once in a life time opportunity to work with our various big cats including Jaguars, Ocelots and our Puma family. As well as big cats we also have and offer you the opportunity to work closely with capuchin, spider and woolly monkeys, macaws, peccaries, capybaras and tapirs as well as many more animals. Volunteers are asked to work 6 days are week and between the hours of 8:00-12:00 and 14:00-16:00 just 6 hours a day.

Volunteers are provided with:
  • 3 meals a day.
  • Housing with comfortable beds, private bathrooms and hot water all day.
  • Free access to Wi-Fi.
  • A swimming pool (clean and well maintained).
  • Various communal areas in which to sit and socialise during free time.

The volunteer fee is $150 per week, with a reduction for longer stays. The minimum stay is 2 weeks.

Resources are SCARCE as we do not receive any funding from the government or any other organisation, so your contributions are vital to help us save the local wildlife and improve the life of our resident animals.

One Day In The Jungle

About us and our work

Our preservation work is achieved through 3 processes, education, recreation and research. In these 3 areas we cover key issues such as illegal trafficking of animals. We often receive animals that have been the victim of trafficking or similar illegal activities, upon receiving such individuals we try to rehabilitate and release them back into the wild when possible. However the sad fact is that this is not always possible so some individuals remain with us at our zoo, we endeavour to provide these animals with an environment as similar to their natural habitat as possible. It is our excellent work with such animals that has lead other rescue centres to send us animals they receive and cannot care for, as well as receiving many illegally kept animals seized by the Ministry of Environment.

How you can help!

You can work in any of the following areas within our zoo: Nutrition, Forestry, Quarantine, Tourism, Veterinary, Biology and Restaurant.You can either choose a single area or be rotated weekly to learn the general management of a zoo.


In this area you will be involved in feeding the zoo’s animals, including our big cats. In some cases we receive animals in an advanced state of malnutrition so you will help to track the animal’s progress and provide the diet or supplements approved by our veterinarian.

We have many species of parrot. Most have been pets and have had their wings clipped and thus would not survive in the wild. They eat vast quantities of fruit that they have twice daily.
Chorongo Island (Wolley monkeys) is off limits as the monkeys are not tame. Their food is delivered by boat across our lake. The food is distributed across the island to encourage the monkeys to forage for their food.


In this area your work will involve improving the animals surroundings by providing them with as natural as possible environment. You will be working in the animals’ enclosures providing them with new plantation to improve their living environment and provide stimulation. You will also be planting around the zoo on our trails to improve the natural space around the zoo to not only improve our tourists’ visits but also create an overall more natural environment for our animals.

One of the volunteers planting around the outside of the Jaguar cage to provide privacy for the male from tourists.
Planting along the edge of the river that runs through the zoo.


Our zoo is currently expanding and we often receive new individuals so it is important that construction is continued to avoid animals being kept in small enclosures. You will assist the building and design new enclosures helping to provide the animals with the best possible enclosures. Your work will also include creating toys for enrichment, this is especial important for animals in quarantine as it will help to avoid stress and boredom.


In this area you will be working with sick animals, you will tasked with aiding their recover to health, administering medicine and maintaining hygiene under the supervision and coordination of the vet. New arrivals to the zoo are kept here initially to ensure they are not carrying diseases that could endanger the other animals, so you will be charged with caring for these animals as well.

Blue headed parrots are a particular favorite pet in this region. Their capture and illegal trafficking often results in orphaned chicks. Parrott rehabilitation is both difficult and costly and many refuge centers will not take these chicks. Here at Tarqui we never say no to an animal.
This is one of our volunteers teaching a very young Blue Headed Parrott how to clean its beak.


An important part of our mission is education, educating visitors on the importance of conserving wildlife and our natural environment. As we do not release all of our animals we do not receive funding from the government. We take the animals that have been refused by other refuge centers and provide them with a home and we will release animals wherever we can. We have become a zoo and volunteer organization to fund this.

Therefore tourism is very important to us as our main income and any help you can provide in improving this is warmly welcomed. As part of the tourism area you can help us in improving the signs, providing tours (for those with Spanish) and coming up with ways to improve the aspects of the zoo without compromising the animals welfare. We want to educate people about the amazing diversity of animals in the rainforest and raise awareness about the abuse that they receive.

For those with good Spanish tours of the zoo can help our cause by educating tourists on a one to one basis.

Any support will be valued and advance cooperation is appreciated for assisting in our fight against illegal activities including wildlife in all its forms...

It’s not all work volunteers have plenty of time to socialise and take part in activities, cultural exchange plans etc.

You have the opportunity to visit a paiches (Arapaima gigas) farm, the second largest fish in the world. You have the opportunity to help feed the fish, maintain their pools and participate in research and conservation programs.

For volunteers with in sectors such as biology, veterinary, animal scientist etc. it may be possible for you to collaborate in some way with the Ecuadorian Ministry of Environment.

We welcome your ideas on how to improve our facilities and changes based around your suggestions can be completed as research projects.

We need people willing to work because the job is medium to hard but very satisfying and you will have a unique experience, that very few can claim to have experienced and you will have a lot of contact with animals.

You can choose a day off midweek and we offer the possibility of jungle tours and the chance to know indigenous communities and folklore and the financial means of the countryside as the sugar cane and production of "panela". Jungle tours can include visits to swim under natural jungle waterfalls, visit genuine local communities and shamans.

And if you are interested in Spanish lessons, we offer professional lessons for a small fee.

Tarqui has a taxi and bus service so you have the opportunity to visit other cities, like Puyo, Baños, Quito, Cuenca or the coast.

It is easy to get to Tarqui Zoo simple take a taxi 10 minuet taxi from Puyo for just $3-4 or you can catch the local bus 0f $0.25 and ask for Tarqui.

We wait for you to save the wildlife!

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