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The VICE Guide to Right Now

Guys, Giraffes Are Slowly Going Extinct

Giraffes are making their way toward silent extinction, a new report shows.

by Jo Rosenthal
Dec 8 2016, 3:16pm

Photo via Flickr user Robyn Jay

The world's tallest land mammal-slash- is on its way toward extinction, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) said Thursday, adding the animal to its watchlist of endangered species, ABC News punchlinereports.

According to IUCN, the world's giraffe population has dipped from 163,000 in 1985 to 97,000 in 2015—a whopping 40 percent drop in the last 30 years.

Although many expect to see the creatures running around on safari or grazing in zoos across the countries, the iconic creatures have already completely disappeared from seven African countries. Scientists believe the decline is most likely due to a loss of habitat and illegal hunting.

Because "giraffes are commonly seen on safari, in the media, and in zoos, people—including conservationists—are unaware that these majestic animals are undergoing a silent extinction," IUCN co-chairman Julian Fennessy said in the report.

The IUCN report also confirmed 860 plant and animal species as extinct, and another 68 extinct in the wild. Nearly 13,000 different other species are endangered or critically endangered right now.