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2020 Season: May 25-October 31

Rhino Encounters

2020 Rhino Encounter Update

Registration for 2020 Rhino Encounters is currently unavailable. We do plan on offering encounters after we are able to open, and registration will resume after we have an opening date determined. For the safety of participants, staff, and the animals, we will be updating encounter safety guidelines.

Those who have already booked an encounter will be given the option of a refund or to reschedule to a later date. If you have ay questions, please contact Betsey Brewer Bethel at betsey@southwickszoo.com.

Please check back soon for more information.

Interested in meeting Southwick’s Zoo’s white rhinos, Thelma and Louise, up close and personal? Rhino Encounters provide zoo visitors the unique opportunity to meet these two amazing creatures up close and personal while learning more about rhinoceros conservation.

What is the goal of rhino encounters?

We are working with EARTH Limited, the environmental education non-profit based in our zoo, to offer our visitors a unique way to learn more about and support rhino conservation. Our goal is to have participants leave with a better understanding of the poaching crisis and a greater desire to contribute to conservation efforts for rhinos after spending time with Thelma and Louise.

The majority of proceeds from rhino encounters are donated to rhinoceros conservation, with most of the proceeds benefiting Project Rhino, a program founded by Wildlife ACT.  The remaining proceeds support EARTH’s educational and conservation projects. Funds donated to Project Rhino support anti-poaching and rhino conservation strategies including ranger training, equipment & resources for game reserves, community education programs, informant funding, legislation & lobbying, and other initiatives.

RULES AND GUIDELINES

  • Rhino Encounters are only available during the normal zoo season (mid-April through October). NOTE: 2020 Rhino Encounters will begin later than usual due to the delay with our opening. Please check back for more information about when encounters will start.
  • Rhino Encounter participants must be at least 12 years of age. Those under 18 must also be accompanied by a paid adult.
  • Spots are limited (4 people maximum per encounter) and must be reserved online at least 24 hours in advance.
  • Zoo passes, gift cards, coupons, discounts, or other offers cannot be applied to the price of rhino encounters.
  • Only registered and paid rhino encounter participants are allowed into the encounter area.
  • We suggest wearing comfortable closed-toe shoes. We DO NOT recommend wearing flip flops or sandals.
  • Cancellation/Reschedule Policy: If you need to cancel your encounter, we require at least 1 week’s notice for full refund. If you need to reschedule to another date, please contact us at least 1 week in advance with a new desired date. We cannot reschedule encounters to a date that does not have an appropriate number of openings remaining, so please check the list of dates on the registration page first.
  • If poor weather is predicted for the day of your encounter, you may reschedule to another date. In this case, please try to contact us with a new date as early as possible to reschedule.

PRICING

Non-Member: $119 (+ Eventbrite fees)/Participant

EARTH Member: $99 (+ Eventbrite fees)/Participant

Includes: An encounter with our two white rhinos and admission to Southwick’s Zoo for the day of your encounter.

Note: Rhino Encounters take place at 9:00am. Rhino Encounters take place before the zoo opens for the day, so only registered rhino encounter participants are allowed entry into the zoo during the encounter. Please meet us at 9:00am at the zoo’s front entrance the day of your encounter.

Note to members: To receive your member discount, click “enter promo code” when you register. Your code is the first 5 letters of your last name + the first 2 letters of your first name. Example: John Smith’s code would be SMITHJO. If your last name is fewer than 5 letters, just use your full last name + the first 2 letters of your first name, Jane Doe’s code would be DOEJA.

CANCELLATION/RESCHEDULE POLICY

If you need to cancel your encounter, we require at least 1 week’s notice for full refund. If you need to reschedule to another date, please contact us at least 1 week in advance with a new desired date. We cannot reschedule encounters to a date that does not have an appropriate number of openings remaining, so please check the list of dates on the registration page first.

If poor weather is predicted for the day of your encounter, you may reschedule to another date. In this case, please try to contact us with a new date as early as possible to reschedule.

RHINO ENCOUNTER T-SHIRTS

Want to remember this day forever? Participants can purchase T-Shirts at the EARTH Ltd. Discovery Center the day of their encounter. T-Shirts are $25/each and available in ladies’ and men’s sizing.
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