Keeping a respectful distance my guide slowed the jeep to a crawl, pointing out the expectant Zebra, shuffling backwards and circling, ready to produce the next precious generation. We watched until the guide felt it was dignified to move on and leave her alone to carry out her important task. An hour later after an enthralling visit to the cassowaries and okapis, new life, a foal, safely born. Mesmerised, I watched four spindly legs stagger and wobble to prop a stripy body into an upright position to begin a new chapter in this world.
It was just one unforgettable encounter among many on my trip to White Oak; a special place full of visionary conservationists intent on reversing the devastating threat of species extinction. Here they run some of the world’s most ambitious and successful projects saving endangered species and habitats through sustainable assurance populations and responsible land stewardship. I drew strength from the heart-stopping concentrations of wildlife at risk - a destination for anyone, like me, who loves animals, birds, pristine wild unspoilt scenery... or just adrenaline. It was exhilarating to watch, to feel, to believe all the people there are making a monumental difference.
New life and hope emerges through their conservation work at every turn, not just here but all over the world. It is sobering to think the brilliant rhino program at White Oak and its satellite sites protects 40% of the world’s remaining rhino population.
I experienced this stunning eco-system without leaving a footprint, but it left an everlasting impression on me. I urge you to join us in supporting White Oak. Directly through donations, or by the acquisition of a beautiful, timeless work of art which reminds us everyday of the precious wonders of the animal world.
About White Oak
Gladwell & Patterson are delighted to partner with White Oak Conservation, a state-of-the-art scientific education and conservation centre focused on saving and recovering populations of rare species, building assurance populations, researching animal health, convening experts, and educating the next generation of conservation experts.
White Oak is widely respected among conservationists for its work in protecting and propagating rare animals. White Oak carries out this work in the United States and beyond, partnering with state and federal agencies, including the US Fish and Wildlife Service.
As education is integral to driving conservation and preservation, White Oak provides a range of educational and training programs for the conservation community.
In hosting an exhibition of work by Britain’s greatest wildlife artist, Gladwell & Patterson hope that Shepherd’s rich artistic heritage will raise awareness and funds for White Oak Conservation’s continuing vital efforts. Instantly recognisable, Shepherd’s exquisite paintings strike a chord in their ability to recall the majesty of his precious subjects which demand so much care and attention in this ever-changing world we live in today.
Click the image below to find out more.
To donate to this brilliant cause, our catalogue is available to buy for £10 including postage, and all profits will be donated to White Oak Conservation. Click here to purchase a catalogue.