The Tasikoki animal rescue centre in North Sulawesi was started at the end of the 90s by Dr. Willie Smits. Together with a number of other rescue centres in Indonesia it was meant to stop the illegal trade in wildlife.
The Indonesian Ministry of Forestry supports Tasikoki in fighting the trade and smuggling of endangered animal species. This collaboration has resulted in the housing and taking care of animals from about 100 different species. The Ministry of Forestry only pays for less than 5% of the centre’s cost and we are therefore entirely dependent on volunteers and donations for the care of the animals.
North Sulawesi is a well-known route for wildlife smuggling from Indonesia to the global market through the Philippines. Endangered animals from across the Indonesian archipelago suffer from this trade route. For example, in addition to the many animal species from Sulawesi the centre has currently also animals from Sumatra (e.g. Siamang ape), Borneo (orangutans, gibbons, Sun bears), Java (Javanese Leopard and turtles), Papua (Cassowary, parrots, crocodiles). So Tasikoki is located in a strategic location to help the authorities with tackling this crime and to rehabilitate confiscated animals.
The centre has a team of dedicated employees, who take care of the animals, let them recover and, if possible, prepare them for reintroduction into the wild. In addition to the rescue and rehabilitation of animals Tasikoki provides local education programs to raise awareness of the threats for the wildlife and precious biodiversity of Indonesia.
The work at the centre is carried out by local staff led by an international team who only receive food and accommodation for their efforts. They are supported by dedicated short-term volunteers from all over the world. Volunteers participate in the care for the animals and the centre and provide a financial contribution that is used for the care and the nutrition of the animals.
For more information on volunteering opportunities, send an email to Volunteering at Tasikoki
You can also take a look at the short movie (of Raymond Hartman) about the daily life of a volunteer in Tasikoki.