Rhino Encounters

matt lightSouthwick’s Zoo is closed for the winter. Rhino encounters will resume in spring of 2016.

Ever wondered what it’s like to scratch a rhino behind the ears?

We are working with EARTH Ltd. to give our visitors a unique way to learn more about rhino conservation! All proceeds from rhino encounters go to the International Rhino Foundation.

Rhino Encounters are offered on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday at 9am.

Spots are limited and must be reserved in advance. We will not honor same day bookings or under 24 hrs and you may be issued a refund.


Non-members: $99
EARTH Member: $79

Includes: Admission to the zoo for the day and an encounter with our two white rhinos.
Note: Encounters take place before the zoo’s normal hours. Only people who have purchased rhino encounter tickets are allowed entry into the zoo during the encounter. Please meet us at 9am a the zoo’s front entrance the day of your encounter.

*Participants must be at least 12 years of age. Those under 18 must be accompanied by a paid adult.
We suggest wearing comfortable, closed toe shoes. We DO NOT recommend wearing flip flops or sandals.

Reserve your rhino encounter


Comments from previous rhino encounter participants:

  • “Both Jessica and I would like to thank you for the incredible Rhino Encounter this last Saturday, 8/2. We were both awe struck as we left the rhino area; stunned with the “up close” magnificence of this beautiful creature.”
    Stan Coombs,  August 2014
  • One of our rhino encounter participants wrote about it on her blog. Check it out!Thelma and I 1
  • Thelma and Louise were absolutely everything I hoped two rhinos would be! They were so sweet and gentle, and I could not believe how much they just loved the attention and affection! This was undeniably the best day of my life, and having two rhinos so openly enjoy my company was the most meaningful experience that I will treasure forever. Truly a gift of nature, I feel so honored for my life to have crossed paths with theirs. I literally cannot thank you enough, I am so speechless in expressing my gratitude. I have also spent my day encouraging as many people as I can to come and share this experience, to share in both the beauty and the endeavor of the rhino. I feel it is the least I can do to help them and their kind, and I would do whatever else I could.
    Jake Waldman, August 2015