Werribee Open Range Zoo


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 and there may be as few as  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 learn about the Zoo’s conservation program Beads for Wildlife, which helps communities and wildlife in Africa.

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. 


Born 1992

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


Born 1980

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


Born 1996

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


Born 1984

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


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).


Born 2013

Kipenzi is a very sociable rhino and is especially fond of her keepers. She is now a part of the adult herd after being hand raised by vet and keeping staff. Kipenzi is very friendly and cheeky!

World Rhino Day

Students Rally for World Rhino Day

On Tuesday 22 September, Werribee Open Range Zoo marked World Rhino Day with the help of four young students from St Mary’s Primary School in Malvern East.

22 September 2015
Rhino Kipenzi with the herd

Happy Birthday Kipenzi!

Werribee Open Range Zoo’s Southern White Rhino calf, Kipenzi marked her second birthday on Saturday 30 May.

In the last year, Kipenzi has really strengthened her bond with the rhino herd, particularly with grandmother Make.

1 June 2015
Shadowfax winery

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 - couple

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 overlooking Australian Journey. 

  • 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