With some trepidation, given Mandos’ marvellous oneirism, I take this moment to dismount from my winged pig and raise a glass at Peggy-Sue’s with some of the shelled folk to celebrate the return of Lonesome George.
Not in the flesh, of course. Young George is history. But extinction, it seems, can now be reversed:
Researchers say they may be able to resurrect the Pinta Island subspecies by launching a cross-breeding program with 17 other tortoises found to contain genetic material similar to that of Lonesome George, who died June 24 at the Pacific Ocean archipelago off Ecuador’s coast after repeated failed efforts to reproduce.
Edwin Naula, director of the Galapagos National Park, said in a telephone interview on Thursday that the probability is high it can be accomplished.
“It would be the first time that a species was recovered after having been declared extinct,” Naula said.
But it won’t happen overnight.
For some reason I liked that last line very much.
Meanwhile, another team of scientists hopes to resuscitate the woolly mammoth. Perhaps Canada can allocate a little money to bring back the giant beaver. Just so long as we stay in the Pleistocene we ought to be OK. Right?
* Made-up word. Dibs.