Saturday, July 16, 2011

White Oak Plantation

White Oak Conservation Center is one of the world's premiere wildlife breeding, research, and training facilities. Luckily for us, it happens to be located less than an hour northwest of Amelia Island. It spans 600 acres and is surrounded by 6800 acres of pine and hardwood forest and wetlands. For more information about this unique center, see their website: wocenter.org

Last month, Christina, Levi, and I got to go on a tour with this summer's recreation interns in an open-air bus. White Oak is just beginning to open up to the public. So, we got to check it out and decided to offer tours there. Call the nature center at (904)321-5082 if you are interested in going with us! As our tour guide pointed out, we were perhaps the only people in the world petting a baby white rhino right then! This is George, who could not be raised by his mother, and therefor loves people because they bottlefed him.
This female Cassowary is huge, and we got to hear her make a unique call. I felt like I was seeing and hearing a dinosaur!
There are at least 33 cheetahs in the breeding program, including this one who ran up to the fence to chase our bus! We were glad for the fence between us!
A few of the giraffes loved coming over to eat a snack of local vegetation.
After we were back on the bus, this little (well, for a giraffe) baby was eager to check us out from a safe distance, although Mom still kept a really close eye on us.
Very rarely seen in the wild, or even in zoos, we got a great look at this Okapi!

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