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Source: istock

One of the Biggest Giraffe Subspecies Is Officially Endangered

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In early May, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced that it was investigating whether giraffes should be added to the global endangered species list. Now, less than three months later, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has officially taken the plunge and categorized the Masai giraffe as endangered. The Masai giraffe, primarily located in Tanzania and Kenya, is one of the largest giraffe species on Earth — and unfortunately, it's not the only one that's endangered.

The IUCN announced the Masai giraffe's new status as endangered on the IUCN Red List, noting that only 35,000 mature Masai giraffes are currently alive. Masai is one of nine giraffe subspecies, with 68,293 total mature giraffes alive overall. In general, giraffes are classified as vulnerable (the scale goes: least concern, near threatened, vulnerable, endangered, critically endangered, extinct in the wild, extinct).