Collected by Megan Eileen McDonough, AFAR Local Expert
These adorable animals are enjoying life in their natural habitats around the world.
Siberian Federal District, Russia
In Land Rovers and on foot, climb Central Asia’s mountains in pursuit of snow leopards. Volunteers search for the elusive green-eyed cats by tracking their footprints, scat, and prey: the argali (mountain sheep) and the Altai ibex. The expeditions...
South East Asia
This riverside orangutan rehabilitation camp is usually reachable only by boat. For times when the Sekonyer Kanan River runs dry, volunteers are building a 2.5-mile boardwalk to the camp. Workers are often approached by two curious orangutans, a...
1 Rivier Street, Van Zylsrus, 8467, South Africa
Just south of the Botswana border, in the Kuruman River Reserve, you’ll find meerkats so friendly they occasionally jump on volunteers’ heads. Visitors study the effects of the mammals’ cooperative breeding, in which adults help raise each other’s...
Pa Yup Nai, Wang Chan District, Rayong, Thailand
Accompany elephants as they make their way to a “retirement” park in Northern Thailand after careers in trekking camps. The project is an attempt both to give the elephants a more pleasant, natural life andto rebuild the bonds between the animals...
Seal Bay Rd, Seal Bay SA 5221, Australia
One of my top must-do things for Australia was to see a kangaroo in the wild. After a short road trip, that was checked off my bucket list and then changed to feeding one. We were lucky enough to arrive at Parndana Animal Park, where there were...
Osa Peninsula, Puntarenas Province, Costa Rica
Off the coast of Costa Rica’s remote Osa Peninsula, spend your days at sea counting humpback whales, identifying them by their markings, plotting their movements, and recording their sounds. Your work will help to determine if the same whales...
Bajo Garita, Provincia de Alajuela, La Garita, Costa Rica
No cage...just a perch under the forest canopy at the "Zoo Ave" bird sanctuary, just west of San José, Costa Rica. Several of the parrots and macaws do "speak," but most of these splendid creatures are not pets; tame enough, though, so you can...
Domaine de Cambron, 7940 Brugelette, Belgium
A former Cistercian Abbey doesn't seem a likely place to find elephants, giraffes and cheetahs, but that's exactly where you'll find Pairi Daiza Zoo and Botanical Garden. This 55-hectare (140-acre) park is one of Wallonia‘s top attractions and...
6400 Nancy Greene Way, North Vancouver, BC V7R 4K9, Canada
Part of the North Shore mountain range, this 4,039-foot peak offers jaw-dropping views of the city. It’s busiest in the winter, when four chairlifts service 33 ski runs, but remains popular in the summer thanks to the steep, 1.8-mile Grouse...
A three-day safari in Kruger National Park is a must for anyone visiting South Africa. Entering the gates is like Jurassic Park and you feel transported back in time to the creation of Earth where the wild animals, especially the elephants, are...
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