This is Maggie.
Maggie has played an incredibly important role in the recovery of the critically endangered Nubian giraffe in Uganda’s Kidepo Valley National Park.
Kidepo Valley National Park once supported one of Uganda’s largest giraffe populations, but years of civil unrest and illegal hunting brought the population to the brink of extirpation (local extinction). By the early 1990s only three giraffe remained in the park.
The situation was so dire that in 1997, the Uganda Wildlife Authority and the Kenya Wildlife Service teamed up to move three Nubian giraffe from Lake Nakuru National Park in Kenya to Kidepo Valley National Park to bolster the small remaining population.
In a daring operation, three giraffe were loaded the back of a C-130 aircraft.
Maggie was one of these giraffe who made the long journey to Uganda.
Nearly twenty years later, when GCF led the first individual based photographic survey of giraffe in Kidepo Valley National Park, we matched the spot patterns of photographs from the translocation to a large female still roaming the rugged savannahs of northeastern Uganda. Check out the photos above and below and see for yourself: Maggie was still alive and well!
Last year during our annual survey, we spotted Maggie with a young calf. Old records suggest that Maggie was at least 25 years old when she gave birth, making her one of the oldest known giraffe to give birth in the wild. Over the years, Maggie has played an incredibly important role in the recovery of Uganda’s giraffe and continues to teach us about the natural history of giraffe.