Meet your new 1.5-ton bestie through our new Rhino Encounter experience. This semi-private encounter will take you to an exclusive animal care area to meet one of our black rhinos – Nia or Jaali – up close.
The Rhino Care Team will introduce you to The Living Desert's black rhinos, while offering fascinating insights into the species’ natural biology, what it takes to care for these massive mammals, and an insider’s perspective about their individual personalities. You’ll walk away with life-long memories and insights into how we can collectively work to protect rhinos from extinction.
Every encounter will vary, but participants may have the opportunity to feed a rhino, watch a rhino training session, or brush a rhino. Each session accommodates up to 10 guests.
Session 1: 8:15am-8:45am
Session 2: 9:00am-9:30am
You are encouraged to book your Rhino Encounter experience in advance online or by calling (760) 346-5694. Day of/walk-up purchases may be available, based on availability.
Private buy-outs are available for the 8:15am session only and require advanced reservations. A private buy-out is $500 for up to 10 guests.
Things to Know:
The encounter lasts approximately 30 minutes and begins promptly at the reserved start time. Please note, it is a 10-minute walk to the encounter area from the Zoo’s main entrance. If you arrive late, the encounter experience will not be extended.
This is a semi-private, group experience and other guests will share the encounter session. Private rhino encounters may be booked based on availability.
The Rhino Encounter fee does not include admission to The Living Desert – a valid admission ticket or membership is required for entry into the Zoo for the date of your encounter.
The Rhino Encounter is non-refundable.
All guests must be at least 5 years old to participate. Children under 18 must be accompanied by a paying adult.
The Living Desert reserves the right to cancel or modify the Rhino Encounter due to animal health and/or safety concerns. In the event of a cancellation, efforts will be made to reschedule.
All participants must follow the instructions from animal care and staff members. Failure to follow instructions may result in removal from the Rhino Encounter without refund.
This experience will be held rain or shine.
All participants must be in good health and free from any cold-like symptoms.
There is limited access for service animals during the encounter. Please call 760-346-5694 for more information.
ECVs (Electric Conveyance Vehicles are not permitted to enter the Rhino Encounter space. Participants must be able to transfer into a wheelchair, walk by themselves or be assisted by a member of their party. Courtesy wheelchair(s) will be available.
This tour visits animal areas containing common allergens including but not limited to: hay, grasses, dust, and biting/stinging insects.