Wildlife Rescue and Release Programme

To establish a rescue centre to shelter, rehabilitate and release confiscated animals in Vietnam


One of the main threats to the biodiversity of the Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park is high hunting pressure. Animals are hunted for bushmeat as well as for traditional medicine. Hunted animals, which have been confiscated by the Forest Protection Department of the national park, are transferred to the park's wildlife rescue section. As there have not been any facilities such as a rescue station, these animals have been kept under bad and unprofessional conditions in the past.


The mission of the project, which was initiated in 2005, is to establish a wildlife rescue centre for the temporary keeping of confiscated animals under quarantine conditions and the subsequent release of these animals into the forest of the Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park by following IUCN Reintroduction Guidelines. Construction of the centre was completed in the mid of 2006. In accordance with the most frequently confiscated animal species, the station comprises 12 cages for small to medium-sized mammals such as porcupines and civets, two big cages for larger animals or groups of primates, as well as a turtle enclosure. In addition, a veterinary room as well as a food preparing place and a kitchen were set up.


A training course for staff of the rescue section was held for three months by the project manager from Cologne Zoo. In that course, staff obtained basic knowledge on important topics such as general aspects of animal keeping and handling, quarantine and hygiene, nutrition and balanced diets, medical treatment of animals, background and problems of rescue and release programmes in terms of conservation, etc. Besides the theoretical part, trainees were also instructed and supervised in the practical work in the rescue centre.


So today, the confiscated animals are kept under much more professional and suitable conditions than in the past. Release activities have been improved by applying pre-release treatments such as de-worming and testing for tuberculosis in primates, as well as by setting up a special protected area in the national park. This project meanwhile has been completed.


WAZA Conservation Project 07009 is implemented by Cologne Zoo.


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