I’ve always adored giraffes. Somehow they manage to be massive, delicate, weird, beautiful, gentle, awkward, and graceful all at the same time. They have fancy spots and long lashes, knobby knees and nubbly horns, and if you’re very lucky, you mom might let you feed them a few leaves at the zoo and you can feel their giant raspy tongues against your skin.

Earlier this year, I read that giraffe conservationists are trying to get these noble-yet-wonderfully-goofy animals added to the endangered species list — the population has shrunk dramatically and the animals are in grave danger. I have a special love of giraffes, so I went looking for a way to help. I found the Giraffe Conservation Foundation, which lets individuals and organization “adopt” wild giraffes. After much deliberation, I chose Winky Wonk for Indie Travel Guru — his bent left horn and little smirky grin made him irresistible. His face is the epitome of giraffeness. I love him!

GCF tracks the animals’ movements and gives us a report quarterly on “our” giraffe as well as the population overall. I just heard from them this morning with the current update. There is a drought in Namibia, but the giraffes are doing well, thanks to their ability to nibble food from the tops of trees. The giraffes are traveling far and wide and spending up to 75 of their day searching for food. That makes it hard to track individuals, and Winky Wonk was playing hide and seek with the conservationists, but they did finally spot him. Heres his current photo from this summer.

When you use one of the affiliate links at Indie Travel Guru, click on an ad, or take a Women’s Adventure Tour with me, you help to support Winky Wonk, so you can consider him “your” giraffe as well. If you want to adopt a giraffe of your very own, you can do that through the Giraffe Conservation website. They have some really affordable options starting at just $5 a month!


Author

Lauren Haas is a nomadic freelance writer. She has been traveling the world, living out of a backpack, since May of 2013. Lauren has written regularly for CBS Local, WebPsychology, Hipmunk, and Hotelplanner, and has also been published in The Culture-ist, Matador, and other online and print publications.

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