Southern White Rhino


We are passionate about rhino conservation and dedicated to further raising awareness on the plight of these amazing animals.

Orana Wildlife Park has been involved in the international captive breeding programme for southern white rhinos since 1980. Four calves have been bred at the Park including the first rhino born in New Zealand! 

Sadly, southern white rhinos are classified as Near Threatened by the IUCN primarily due to poaching to supply the illegal international rhino horn trade.

Rhinos are important animals. They have been around for millions of years and play a crucial role in their ecosystem, being key grazers helping shape the African landscape and they benefit other animals.

South Africa’s significant interventions to increase numbers of white rhino are highly commendable. Various initiatives are in place on the ground seeking to prevent the extinction of the species in its range states, such as improving security of rhino populations and increasing habitat. Existing measures are seeing rapid and encouraging population growth rates in some places, though the population continues to decline. Threats to continued growth of wild populations include a lack of land to expand into, the continued threat of poaching and dramatically increased protection costs.


supporting existing conservation action

In New Zealand and Australia, the Zoo and Aquarium Association Australasia (ZAA) and its members, including Orana Wildlife Park, manage a genetically healthy ex-situ population of white rhino away from key threats to the species.

Orana and three other ZAA welfare-accredited open-range zoos in Australia are committed to further supporting conservation efforts by seeking to import 17 rhino to grow this managed ex-situ population and generate additional support for white rhino conservation in range states.

Modern zoos connect visitors with wildlife and inspire people to get involved in positive conservation actions through education and engagement with their audiences. Populations of rhino outside the range state help to reinforce direct conservation actions by raising public awareness beyond the species’ native borders, supporting the delivery of educational messaging and advocating for their species.

Animals proposed to be imported from South Africa will join the ZAA managed population and help to generate additional action from zoos to:

  • Deliver public education and raise awareness of the plight of rhino and contribute to demand reduction activities.
  • Implement a sustainable mechanism to contribute finance for rhino conservation in range states.
  • Facilitate research into breeding performance in semi-intensive and open range zoo set ups for application to further support management in range states.
  • Provide an additional layer of assurance to range state conservation efforts.
  • Finance in-situ rhino conservation efforts in range states.
  • The animals will be “held in trust” and available for re-export to range states in the event of a catastrophic further decline of wild populations. 


Rhino conservation centre in christchurch

Orana Wildlife Park is a charitable trust raising 100% of funds for all capital projects. As part of this ambitious project, our team has constructed a $1.8M Rhino Conservation Centre capable of managing up to 30 of these iconic animals. The Centre will house and breed more rhinos in Christchurch and quarantine all animals destined for our Australian partners.

This facility will ensure that Orana Wildlife Park is well positioned to continue our long-term involvement in the international breeding programme for this beautiful important species.

Donate now:

To make a donation towards The Rhino Conservation Centre and caring for this amazing species, please contact us 03 359 7109 or or donate via GiveaLittle.

Alternatively you can donate directly into our bank account. If you make a payment please email with your name and address and we will then send you a donation receipt.

Our bank account details are:

Westpac Bank, Westfield Riccarton Branch

030823 0350554 000

Thanks for being a friend of Orana.


Thanks to our friends at One to One Hundred for these amazing renders




Rhino conservation centre grants

We gratefully acknowledge the following organisations for their generous contributions towards our White Rhino Conservation Centre at Orana Wildlife Park.



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