The Hemsworth brothers are funding a scientific effort to reintroduce the currently-extinct thylacine back to Tasmania and sure, what could go wrong!
Chris Hemsworth and his brothers Liam and Luke (yes there are two) have invested in Colossal Biosciences, a company that wants to bring back extinct animals.
The “de-extinction” company teamed up with Melbourne University to pool resources and tech so it can use fancy new DNA technology to bring back thylacines, Jurassic Park style. I mean, even the corporate name of “Colossal Biosciences” sounds straight out of a sci-fi movie.
Earlier this year, the Thylacine Integrated Genetic Restoration Research (TIGRR) lab was established with a $5 million donation and its goal was to bring back the marsupial in 10 years. It’s headed by the world’s thylacine expert Professor Andrew Pask and has a team of 10 scientists.
The lab is backed by Colossal and with its support, TIGRR could bring back the Tassie tiger in just half that time. Especially now that, according to Colossal CEO Ben Lamm, a bunch of huge stars and tech experts are investing in its vision.
“The Hemsworth family has done a lot in broader marsupial conservation, and they are leading the charge in returning the Tasmanian devil back to the mainland and creating a population outside of Tasmania,” he said, per Daily Mail.
“They were incredibly passionate about not just the return of the thylacine but how the technologies Colossal is developing can be used to help with marsupial conservation and gestation. We could not be more excited for their support and involvement.”
Lamm also shot down arguments that bringing back extinct animals is “playing God”, which sounds eerily like something I’ve heard in a certain sci-fi horror film.
“On the playing God side, I always say we play God all the time; we play God when we wipe them out; we play God when we make vaccines … So why draw the line in the sand on this when this is actually doing something really good,” he said.
“We’re bringing back this animal to help stabilise that entire ecosystem, and that’s incredibly important.”
Honestly, that’s fair. The thylacine has been extinct for less than 100 years, so its not like we live in an entirely different world to when it was alive.
Bioscience and genetics company Colossal has received $15 million in private funding to bring thousands of woolly mammoths back to Siberia 🦣 The company is trying to add genes to elephant DNA such as dense hair and thick fat. Researches want to produce embryos of these cells. pic.twitter.com/UHWmP9QNO5— Breakfast Television (@breakfasttv) September 14, 2021
However, Colossal also wants to bring back the wooly mammoth — which is a pretty huge jump in terms of timespan. I mean, the Tassie tiger went extinct in 1936 after being hunted by humans. The wooly mammoth, on the other hand, went extinct about 10,000 years ago.
And there’s also the fact that the thylacine’s gestation period (AKA how long it’s pregnant) is 30 days. The mammoth’s? Almost two years. Soooo, one of these will be much easier to bring back than the other. And that doesn’t even account for where TF the mammoth will live.
I mean, are we not losing swathes of glacial land by the day in this climate catastrophe? We’re in the midst of global warming, and the large animals that already exist in our frozen landscapes are becoming more vulnerable by the day because of habitat loss. Creating more competition for resources on that land by introducing a new, fkn huge animal seems… irresponsible. Like, let’s solve climate change first?
Bringing the Tasmanian tiger back sounds cool AF but let’s chill with the more ancient, not-at-all adapted to our environment animals alright?