The Guardian view on de-extinction: Jurassic Park may be becoming reality | Editorial – Rights History
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Animals

The Guardian view on de-extinction: Jurassic Park may be becoming reality | Editorial

We should be keeping endangered species alive rather than bringing animals back from extinction

The last official sighting of a Tasmanian tiger in the wild occurred in 1930, when it was shot by a farmer. The marsupials, formally known as thylacines, were hunted to extinction by European settlers who considered them a threat to their sheep and poultry. However, the 6ft-long creatures may reappear if a group of biotechnologists have their way.

The company Colossal Biosciences, along with researchers from the University of Melbourne, plans to “de-extinct” the thylacine by using gene-editing technology. Australia has the fastest rate of mammal extinction in the world; disappearances are down to the arrival of foreign species and wildfires linked to the climate crisis. Scientists argue that in Tasmania the loss of the thylacine left the numbers of smaller marsupials unchecked, leading to over-grazing and threatening a fragile ecological balance.

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