Vietnam is notorious for being a hot spot of animal trafficking activities. However, there are many people who are silently striving to reverse the situation. And in the southern areas, those quiet heroes are present at Cu Chi Wildlife Rescue Station. Here’s all you need to know about the center that has rescued 5,500 species over its 15 years of operation.
- Address: No. 50, Road No. 15, Cho Cu Ha Hamlet, Cu Chi District, Ho Chi Minh City
Establishment: September 2006
Operated by: Ho Chi Minh City Forest Protection Department
Telephone/Fax: + 84 8 37947045
Daily Opening Time: 7h30 - 11h30 (morning) and 1h - 4h30 (afternoon)
I. Overview of Cu Chi Wildlife Rescue Station
Lying in the outskirts of Ho Chi Minh City, Cu Chi offers a unique experience contrasting with the metropolitan atmosphere of the central area. Besides being a historic war base, Cu Chi District is also known for its Wildlife Rescue Station. The 4,000 meters square station has been the safety house for thousands of animals ever since its establishment in 2006. Visiting Cu Chi Wildlife Rescue Station, you will have the chance to observe a diverse range of exotic animals, as well as the tremendous efforts that the staff are making to protect these vulnerable creatures.
II. Establishment of Cu Chi Wildlife Rescue Station
Animal trafficking has been a stringent issue of Vietnam for a very long time, leading to acute problems such as extinction or alarming decrease in the number of species. If they are lucky enough to get rescued, these animals are often severely injured due to cruel trapping methods and lousy captive conditions. And that’s the reason why Cu Chi Wildlife Rescue Station was founded.
In 2006, Wildlife At Risk (WAR), a non profit organization dedicated to the conservation of Vietnam biodiversity cooperated with Ho Chi Minh City Forest Protection Department to establish Cu Chi Wildlife Rescue Station. The mission of the joint program is conspicuous. It is a station for animals confiscated from illegal trade taking place in Ho Chi Minh City and neighboring provinces.
With a finite area of 4,000 square meters, the station has salvaged over 5500 individuals of endangered species. It has successfully treated over 5000 of them and returned these animals to their natural habitat.
III. Highlight Features of Cu Chi Wildlife Rescue Station
1. Protection Area
You will see a wide range of animals at Cu Chi Wildlife Rescue Station, including bears, gibbons, langurs, wildcats, pangolins, cobras, both fresh and sea water turtles, and various species of birds. It is an opportunity to learn more about the diverse ecosystem of Vietnam and the relentless commitment of the staff towards protecting the country’s biodiversity.
Also, it is an integral reminder of the ongoing battle against illicit animal trade, not only in Vietnam but also around the world. Starting from minor actions like refusing to purchase products from imperiled animals, we can contribute to the long-term goal of eradicating illegal hunting.
2. Exhibition Area
After observing the animals at Cu Chi Wildlife Rescue Station, continue your visit with the exhibition area. Here, you will find thorough details of the animals at the station, from their biological, geographical features to stories of their rescue and preservation. The information is illustrated with text, images, samples and even realistic objects. For everyone, even young children, this is a great way to educate ourselves about the importance of nature conservancy.
There is a particular display room with an intriguing name ‘The room of death’. It is where the baits and traps used on the miserable animals are shown. Some of us may feel petrified, especially when we think about the pain these innocent critters have been through. But after all, this is the irrefutable evidence of an upsetting reality.
IV. Extra Tips for Visiting Cu Chi Wildlife Rescue Station
1. Getting to the Station
As Cu Chi Wildlife Rescue Station is quite remote from the centre of Ho Chi Minh City (around 70 kilometers), the ideal forms of transportation would be by car or by bus.
For the first option, you need to spend around 1 hour and 20 minutes following route 22 and route 15.
For the second option, you need to get on three buses, including Number 4 at Ben Thanh bus step, then Number 122 at An Suong and finally Number 70, which will stop right beside the rescue station.
2. Supporting the Station
Though Cu Chi Wildlife Rescue Station is maintained by a governmental authority and funded by national budget, its capacity is still limited because of lacking financial resources. There are several ways to contribute to the operation of the station, such as: sponsoring the food and equipment for the animals, volunteering in specific tasks, making donations and buying merchandise at the exhibition center.
3. Adding Cu Chi Tunnels to your Itinerary
If you have a hectic working schedule, Cu Chi Wildlife Rescue Station would be an exciting activity for the weekend. To fulfill your time of relaxation, you should include nearby places in your travel plan. Ben Dinh Tunnel, right next to the station, is a branch of the famous tunnel network of Cu Chi.
The underground tunnel was an amazing construction by Viet Cong soldiers during the Vietnam War, with an original size of 50 centimeters high and 30 centimeters wide. You have the chance to walk through the tunnel to reach its three levels of depth, ranging from 3 meters to 9 meters. Artefacts of the war, including homemade weapons, bunker, booby traps … are also displayed and introduced through short documentaries.
If you are yearning for a change of atmosphere, Cu Chi Wildlife Rescue Station would be the perfect travel destination. Watching adorable animals while learning a meaningful lesson about nature is undoubtedly one of the best ways to relax. With this guide, we hope you will have a wonderful time visiting Cu Chi Wildlife Rescue Station.