Located on the banks of the St. Marys River, 30 miles north of Jacksonville, Florida, White Oak encompasses more than 17,000 acres of hardwood hammocks, pine forest, and tidal wetlands. The Gilman family acquired the property in 1938, and philanthropist Howard Gilman established a significant program for the conservation and propagation of imperiled species at White Oak in 1982. Since that time, White Oak has become one of the world’s premiere wildlife conservation facilities.
In March 2013, White Oak welcomed new owners Mark and Kimbra Walter. Both Mr. and Mrs. Walter are longstanding conservationists whose philanthropy already supports conservation and wildlife programs across North America. White Oak operations and facilities are managed by White Oak Conservation Holdings LLC, which the Walters established for this purpose.
White Oak is well known in the conservation and zoo communities for their rhinoceros, cheetah, antelope, and okapi (a rare giraffe relative) programs, and for their support of conservation in Africa, Asia, and the United States. Since its inception in 1983, the conservation breeding programs have contributed over 35 rhinoceros, 180 cheetahs, and over 1,000 antelope births to captive conservation populations, as well as re-introducing bongo antelope, roan antelope, and black rhinos back into Africa. Here at home, White Oak has worked with the US Fish and Wildlife Service and Florida Wildlife Conservation Commission to bolster wild populations of critically endangered Florida panthers and Mississippi sandhill cranes.