Because You Live Here!

Rhino Encounters

Thank you to all of our 2018 rhino encounter participants. Rhino encounters will resume in spring of 2019.

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 Southwick’s Zoo to offer zoo visitors a unique way to learn more about and support rhino conservation. Our goal is to inspire participants to  continue supporting rhino conservation after meeting Thelma and Louise and learning from our staff.

All proceeds from rhino encounters are donated to Project Rhino, a program founded by Wildlife ACT. 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 & Guidelines

  • 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 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.


Non-members: $119 (+ $7.04 processing fee)

EARTH Ltd. Member: $99 (+ $7.04 processing fee)

Includes: General admission to the zoo for the day and an encounter with our two white rhinos.

Note: Rhino Encounters take place at 9:00am. This is before the zoo opens, 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 promotional 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.

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.

Located at Southwick’s Zoo

2 Southwick’s Street

Mendon, MA 01756



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