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The company wants to bring the extinct dodo bird back to life and is therefore working on adapting it to its natural habitat in Mauritius |  the animals

The company wants to bring the extinct dodo bird back to life and is therefore working on adapting it to its natural habitat in Mauritius | the animals

An American startup hopes to bring the extinct dodo bird back to life. Eye-catching: The company also wants to actively intervene in the natural environment of the island of Mauritius. The goal is to give disappearing bird species a sustainable home, if of course the plan works…

Texas biotechnology company Colossal Biosciences has announced in the past two years that it wants to bring three different extinct species back to life: the woolly mammoth, the Tasmanian tiger, and the dodo. For the latest project, the company is working with the Mauritius Wildlife Foundation. It protects endangered plant and animal species in Mauritius, the island in the Indian Ocean where the dodo lived until it became extinct in the 17th century.

Vital ecosystems will be restored through revegetation, and invasive species will be removed. “This new habitat will support populations of dodo and other native species in Mauritius,” she added.

“A textbook example of extinction”

According to the American Museum of National History, the dodo is a “typical example of extinction.” The bird related to the dove grew in size and stopped flying because it was not threatened by predators in Mauritius.

Discovered by Dutch soldiers around 1600, it became completely extinct less than 80 years later. Perpetrators included hunting and deforestation. Their nests were also destroyed by animals brought to the island by the Dutch.

Nicobar pigeon

According to the American Smithsonian Research Institute, this practice remains pure “science fiction” at present. “They are still developing the necessary genetic processes,” she says. Some scientists are even convinced that the company will never succeed in achieving its goal.

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For the dodo, Colossal wants to modify the DNA of the Nicobar pigeon, the animal most closely related to the dodo. “But it is not said that the new animal will behave like a dodo if it has no ancestors to learn from,” he adds. Finally, scientists also raise ethical questions about simply interfering with Mauritius’ natural environment.