We have not spotted Windy in a long time and while we hope that she just moved outside of our research area, fact is that Windy is an old lady.
In fact, Windy has made history. She was first identified and recorded by GCF’s Dr Julian Fennessy during his PhD research in 2002. At the time, Windy was a young sub-adult of approximately 2-3 years of age. This means that Windy was in her 20s when we last spotted her in the Hoanib River in 2020.
While this does not sound that old, Windy is indeed one of the oldest documented wild giraffe in Africa. There is still little known on how old giraffe might get in the wild and our references only come from the captive world. Windy has been very important in helping us to learn more about giraffe in the wild.
But this is not everything we have learned from her. When we spotted her early in 2020, it was clear that Windy was heavily pregnant. Unfortunately, we never saw her with a calf during subsequent encounters, so we suspect that her pregnancy did not end well. Nevertheless, our observations made Windy one of the oldest pregnant giraffe in the wild. While some people theorise that older giraffe become doting grandmothers, we challenge this theory and believe that these giraffe might just be older mothers.
We will continue to be on the lookout for Windy and share any updates should we spot her, however, she might just have moved on. Wherever you are, Windy – go well!