And there are many elephants.
Little did this writer know what a can, not of worms, but of true huge elephants she opened!
According to a recent article on CNN:
Woolly mammoths have not walked the Earth since the end of the last ice age. They are part of a group of extinct species that continue to inspire biologists, including a US biotech startup Colossal which has goals of reviving extinct species. The company has a bold plan to create a genetically engineered Asian elephant-mammoth hybrid, which, if successful, they would introduce into the Arctic tundra. The project has already received millions of dollars in backing.
For such a hybrid to succeed, it must first discover and build the animal’s genetic sequence. After that it must successfully fertilized an egg, and nurture it to birth. But how will these infant AI mammoths survive in the wild?
That question will take a lifetime, or more, to answer.
Meanwhile this bold company will turn to current populations of the mammoths’ close relatives, the elephants, for help, particularly focusing on a group of elephants in Botswana, where Elephant Havens, a wildlife foundation based in the Okavango Delta cares for orphaned elephants.
Elephant Havens plans to work directly with Colossal on data-gathering, through artificial intelligence (AI) to analyze the animals’ behavior and pair it with genomic data on every orphaned, but healthy elephant.
What the collaboration of the two organizations and AI hope to provide is a blueprint to ultimately release mammoths to the tundra.
Who could have predicted, just a year ago, that my debut novel, would encompass such radical thoughts, plans and dreams regarding the future of the current elephants and their extinct, perhaps compatible, counterparts: the mammoths?
I learn more each time I, the author of The Elephant in the Room, re-read the book.