Meet Winky Wonk, Your Giraffe Son

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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!'

I'm Lauren, the founder of Indie Travel Guru. I'm living proof that a life of travel and adventure is available to anyone who wants it. At 40, I was a single mom with no passport, a poverty-level income, and big dreams. At 48, I started traveling the world with everything I own in a backpack. That was in 2013, and I'm still going strong!



    Hi Lauren – love the post on Winky Wonk. I came across it by chance and love that you’ve included photos. His sponsorship has been my birthday present for the last 2 years now and I love that he has a bit of a following!

    Hope you continue to sponsor him and support the GCF.


    denise fox-barber Reply

    I am also a sister-mom to Winky Wonk. My daughter gave this to me for my most recent birthday. Thank you so much for sharing his pictures. I share your love of giraffes for many of the same reasons. They look as if they could never be graceful but yet they can be so very graceful – truly magnificent animals.

    • Hello, sister-mom! YOu’re so right, they look awkward & unwieldy but they are so graceful and gentle. It’s a tragedy that they’re endangered, I wish we could do more for them!

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