Are you a passionate and experienced Wildlife Veterinarian looking for the opportunity to work in the Bolivian jungle? This is your opportunity! Comunidad Inti Wara Yassi (CIWY) is seeking a Veterinarian to join our veterinary team at Wildlife Sanctuary Machia, in Bolivia as soon as possible! Live an incredible experience in a multicultural environment with staff and volunteers from around the world, surrounded by wildlife! The candidate must be highly motivated with demonstrated experience in internal medicine and surgery, with a willingness and ability to live in a remote location.
Machía specialises in caring for primates, among other species. We currently house about 350 animals of more than 20 different species, most of them, monkeys (capuchins, spiders, squirrels, albifrons), psittacines (macaws, amazons, aratingas, …) and coatis. As a Veterinarian, you will perform many functions, including: preventive medicine, reception of wounded wild animals, care for babies of different species, anaesthesia and surgeries, manage diets, condition enclosures, help out on construction projects, attend to domestic animals from neighbouring towns, etc. The role is dynamic and not your typical 9 to 5! If you are looking for a different experience that will change your life and the opportunity to contribute to nature conservation, don’t hesitate and apply! You won’t regret it!
Comunidad Inti Wara Yassi (CIWY) is a Bolivian NGO, made up of a team of committed Bolivian and international professionals and volunteers. Founded in 1992, CIWY was the pioneer of the environmental movement in Bolivia and is recognised nationally and internationally. CIWY currently manages three Wildlife Sanctuaries: Machía (Cochabamba), Ambue Ari (Santa Cruz) and Jacj Cuisi (north of La Paz).
We offer a better life to all the animals we shelter who are victims of illegal trafficking. We offer them a better life. Some of them are rehabilitated and released and others unfortunately remain in the sanctuary forever.
The Veterinarian is responsible for offering technical medical assistance in the health, care, management of the animals in our Sanctuaries. Daily tasks include, among others: medical treatments, managing wildlife animals, cleaning, assisting in enclosure conditioning tasks, surgery/anaesthesia, ultrasounds, laboratory analysis, preventative medicine, pharmacologic medication management, emergency response, animal welfare monitoring,
behavioural problems, etc. The Veterinarian works under the direct supervision of the Sanctuary Director and CIWY President. They work in coordination with the Area Coordinators, constantly monitoring and supporting the daily tasks, such as: cleaning and disinfection, management,
nutrition, environmental enrichment, capture and confinement of each particular species.
This is a unique experience in which you will be completely involved in the field of medicine and the conservation of wild fauna.
Roles & responsibilities
The role requires proactivity, commitment, autonomy and organisation in carrying out the daily routine, which involves cleaning, preparing food, checking the animals and overseeing the volunteers’ work as well as the day to day running of the clinic. The Veterinarian must have a strong level of teamwork, responsibility and initiative. There will also be times that the Vet has to aid in treating human patients to administer basic first aid to volunteers in case of an accident.
It is essential that the Vet understands the work and the importance of keeping the animals in good health. The main goal is that the animals receive the best possible care and attention in the most efficient way possible.
1. Animal health: Ensure the physical, psychological and
physiological health of animals.
- Internal Medicine. Treatment of the animals’ physical diseases. Anaesthesia/analgesia and basic surgeries. Routine ultrasound.
- Perform basic laboratory diagnoses. Collect and process laboratory samples, stool samples for the diagnosis of gastrointestinal parasites, urine samples, cytologies, etc.
- Coordinate the execution of management routines with the Area Coordinators, with special emphasis on compliance with the animal health calendar.
- Perform periodic rounds to the management areas to carry out observation, monitoring, control and health prevention, of individuals and groups of animals.
- Supervise the cleaning and disinfection of the management areas.
2. Animal management: Supervise the adequate management of animals, both individuals and groups.
- Ensure that the animal enclosures (both night cages and permanent enclosures) are safe and secure, and that they contain sufficient environmental enrichment.
- Ensure compliance with Biosafety protocols in the Sanctuary.
3. Clinic equipment and supplies:
- Maintain, control and periodically review the inventory of:
i. Clinic medicines and supplies
ii. Surgical and clinical instruments and kit
iii. Clinical equipment (microscope, inhalation anaesthesia
machine, ultrasound, etc.)
- Ensure a permanent supply of all medicines and other supplies available in Cochabamba and Santa Cruz.
- Help with the maintenance and cleaning of all areas of the clinic, including equipment and materials.
4.Documentation: Continually update the clinic files of each individual housed at the Sanctuary.
- Keep the influx, outflow and inventory of animals up to date.
- Write monthly reports and any other reports that your immediate superior requests.
- Produce technical information that will help improve the management of animal health.
- Other tasks assigned to you by your immediate superior.
5. Additional roles and responsibilities:
- In certain circumstances (due to an emergency or urgent need) you may be required to attend to animals that are not housed in the Sanctuary (i.e. domestic animals).
- Occasionally you may take part in other aspects of our work, for example: public talks, training and capacity building programmes and other activities that for part of CIWY’s environmental education programme.
The ideal candidate will meet the following requirements:
- Be a qualified veterinarian with a minimum of 2 years experience in internal medicine (general internal medicine, polymodal anaesthesia/analgesia basic soft tissue surgery, reconstructive surgery, ultrasound, laboratory procedures).
- Have experience in managing neotropical wildlife.
- Have a high level of spoken and written Spanish. Have an intermediate level of English (as a minimum).
- Be responsible, committed and able to work well within a team.
- Be able to work under pressure in a remote environment with limited luxuries.
- Capable of managing, communicating and working with individuals of different ages and cultures.
- Adapt to and respect the Bolivian culture and laws.
CIWY’s three sanctuaries are located in remote areas of Bolivia, and the comforts of each vary. Housing conditions are basic since most of our resources are invested in the animals. Depending on the sanctuary, conditions change. Rooms and bathrooms are usually shared. The sanctuary provides both sheets and pillows.
At Machía there is electricity, wifi internet, running water with flushing toilets and hot showers available. There are basic kitchen facilities on site. Mattresses are made of straw.
Ambue Ari has limited electricity to power the clinic, office and fridges (there is an electronics charging stations). A well/borehole provides drinking water that is filtered for human consumption. The water for the showers is not heated and there are dry composting toilets. Mobile telephone reception is very limited. Mattresses are made of straw.
At Jacj Cuisi there is limited electricity to power the dining room and fridges (there is an electronics charging station). The volunteers and sometimes some staff sleep in one large dorm with bunk beds. The water comes from a stream and is filtered for human consumption. The water for the showers is not heated and toilets are ecological. Mobile telephone reception is very limited. Mattresses are made of straw.
The veterinarian must commit to 13 months, one month as a volunteer and 12 months with a wage. The contract commences after the initial month of induction as a volunteer. There are two weeks of vacation per year. You will also need to be flexible in terms of your working hours; you may be required to work nights (caring for baby animals), weekends and overtime. Long hours are common depending on the workload and the Veterinarian should be available in case of emergencies. There is one day off per week.
CIWY does not receive any funding from the Government, the only financial contribution comes from volunteers and donations. The funds are not yet available to pay competitive salaries, but the organisation offers a salary of 2,000 Bs per month (approximately $290 USD), as well as daily meals (breakfast & lunch) and accommodation. When applying for this position you must take into account out-of-pocket expenses such as visa applications and transport costs to the sanctuary.
How To Apply
Via email to [email protected]
Include your CV, three references (as a minimum) and a cover letter, indicating:
- Why you are interested in this opportunity.
- Detail your experience in internal medicine and surgery/anaesthesia, plus your experience in wildlife medicine.