Werribee Open Range Zoo

Rhinoceros

These superb animals can be surprisingly friendly with the humans they know and trust and are known as a remarkably sociable animal. A visit to Werribee Open Range Zoo is a chance to see them up close.

Rhinoceros have only one predator, humans, who prize them for their hooves, blood, urine and above all for their horns for use in traditional medicines. The horns are also used to make handles for traditional Jambiya daggers, worn as a status symbol by men in Yemen. Rhinoceros are classed as ‘near threatened’ by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (on the IUCN ‘red list’). Poaching continues to be a serious problem, but there have been concerted efforts to protect this species and numbers are thought to be increasing; there may be more than 20,000 Southern White Rhinoceros in the wild.

Your visit to Werribee Open Range Zoo helps to fight species extinction. Visiting the rhinos is an opportunity not only to see these wonderful animals at close range, but also to learn about the threats to many African species, what the international community is doing to try to conserve this species, and how Zoos Victoria is contributing to the fight. 

The Southern White Rhinoceros is predominantly found in South Africa. It is the largest of the five species of rhinoceros and is also known as the ‘square-lipped rhinoceros’ because of its wide, straight upper lip that enables it to graze. It is seldom aggressive and is the most sociable of the five species. Bulls are more vocal, making snorting, bellowing and trumpeting sounds. 

Wallowing in mud serves as a sunscreen and insect repellent for the rhinoceros. Males and females have two horns, the front one reaching lengths of up to 150cm. An adult male weighs approximately 2.3 tonnes and a female weighs about 1.8 tonnes. 

Meet the animals

Umgana

Born 1992

He is a very dominating male toward the female rhinos but very affectionate towards his keepers.

Leeroy

Born 1980

Renowned for his long horn, he loves the company of his keepers. 

Kapamba

Born 1996

He is affectionate toward his keepers but shy around the female rhinos.

Make

Born 1984

Make is a bit shy, probably because she hangs around with another shy rhino called Lataba. Make is Si Si’s mother.

Lataba

Born 1992

Lataba is very flighty. She takes a while to get used to changes in her environment.

Si Si

Born 1998

Si Si loves to eat all day long. She is a bit aggressive toward the male rhino, especially if he tries to steal her food (Si Si is Make's daughter).

News
Kipenzi rhino

Kipenzi takes first steps into adulthood

Keepers were on hand recently to capture a huge milestone for one-year-old Southern White Rhino calf, Kipenzi.

10 July 2014
Kipenzi Introduction

Rhino Calf Kipenzi’s First Birthday

Werribee Open Range Zoo’s Southern White Rhino calf, Kipenzi marked her first birthday today on Friday 30 May.

It’s a huge milestone for Kipenzi and for the team at the Zoo who have hand-raised Kipenzi since birth.

30 May 2014
Encounters
Shadowfax exterior

Shadowfax and the Savannah

Werribee Open Range Zoo and Shadowfax Wines have joined forces to create the perfect day of wine and wildlife at Werribee Park.

Slumber Safari Promo

Slumber Safari

Enjoy an overnight experience at the Zoo in our luxury safari camp. Your stay includes amazing close-up animal encounters, drinks and dips at sunset, a sumptuous dinner, unique night-time activities and breakfast alongside the meerkats.  

Did you know?
  • A rhinoceros has three toes on each foot
  • Some animals such as the eland and kudu will roll in rhinoceros poo to disguise their scent. This reduces their chances of being attacked by predators such as lions
  • The rhinoceros’ ears can move independently allowing it to hear in different directions at the same time
  • Rhinoceros horn is made of keratin, the same substance of human hair and nails
  • A pile of rhinoceros poo is called a ‘midden’. Rhinos use middens to help them navigate in their territory