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Extinct tigers, dogs, deer and bison to join woolly mammoths being cloned back to life

By The Siberian Times reporter
01 December 2016

At least five species of ancient animals will walk again in Siberia, predicts South Korean cloning expert.

'I am not sure when when and how we can restore the woolly mammoth in the present time. I do not know yet. But I can say that I and the NEFU (North Eastern Federal University, Yakutsk) will do our best.' Picture: Galina Mozolevskaya/YSIA

Dr Hwang Woo Suk - currently in the Sakha Republic, Russia's largest region - promised the first recreated woolly mammoth would be released into the wild here. 

'It is my dream to restore not only the woolly mammoth, but also some of the ancient (extinct) animals, such as ancient dogs, ancient deer, ancient bison, and ancient tigers.'

Asked in an interview with The Siberian Times whether the mammoth might make a comeback during his career, the 63 year old scientist said: 'As you know, the mammoth restoration project is quite difficult.

Hwang Woo Suk

Dr Hwang Woo Suk - currently in the Sakha Republic, Russia's largest region - promised the first recreated woolly mammoth would be released into the wild here. Picture: The Siberian Times

'And it needs a long term project. This means I am not sure when when and how we can restore the woolly mammoth in the present time. I do not know yet. But I can say that I and the NEFU (North Eastern Federal University, Yakutsk) will do our best.'

He acknowledged that other teams were working on the woolly mammoth. 

But he wanted to see the first woolly mammoths come to the Sakha Republic - also known as Yakutia - which was the region where the last survivors of the species lived before extinction several thousand years ago. 

EXCLUSIVE: Siberian scientists announce they now have a 'high chance' to clone the extinct woolly mammoth


Taking samples


Exclusive pictures show autopsy on a four year old bison preserved in ice since ancient times. 


Tumat puppy

Malolyakhovsky mammoth with preserved blood and muscle tissues in 2014. Dr Hwang Woo Suk heads the autopsy of Malolyakhovsky mammoth. Autopsy on a four year old bison preserved in ice. Dr Hwang Woo Suk takes samples from Tumat puppy. Pictures: Semyon Grigoryev, YSIA, Academy of Sciences Yakutia, The Siberian Times

He suggested an ideal location for the ancient species he wants to restore would be Pleistocene Park, a unique Arctic scientific zone near Chersky in the far north of the region. 

Established in 1977, the park is seeing the gradual restoration of mammoth steppe ecosystem, which was dominant in the Arctic in the late Pleistocene era. 

This means the replacement of the current unproductive northern ecosystems by highly productive pastures which have both a high animal density and a high rate of biocycling.

Sergey Zimov


Pleistocene Park


Pleistocene Park


Map

Sergey Zimov believes that restoring the pastures will insulate the permafrost, stemming the release of greenhouses gases from the thawing permafrost.  Pictures: The Siberian Times, Pleistocene Park

The area is currently home to herbivore species bison, musk ox, moose, horses and reindeer.

Its founder Sergey Zimov believes that restoring the pastures will insulate the permafrost, stemming the release of greenhouses gases from the thawing permafrost. 

Dr Hwang - who heads the Sooam Biotech laboratories in Seoul - said he hoped to see the park used for the woolly mammoths. 

'I hope so, I guess so,' he said. 'I pray they will do so.'

Comments (4)

Как помочь Плейстоценовому Парку || How to help Pleistocene Park - https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/907484977/pleistocene-park-an-ice-age-ecosystem-to-save-the
Vetal,
26/03/2017 01:16
0
0
Humans killed mammoths and destroy the biggest bioma of the World, so humans must bring them back. World ecosystems are uncompleted since the event of extinction of late Quaternary. It's time to fix what we broke as much as we can. Good for Russians and Koreans, they should be proud of their work. I wish them luck.
Dimitri, Russia
09/03/2017 23:38
0
0
If this dream come true it will be a big boost to RUSSIA both in terms of science but also for tourism. Keep it up!
Matthew Tabone, Malta
07/12/2016 18:36
3
0
--it will be a long term project--- and of course will cost millions of taxpayers money... whose money? South Korea, where the goodDoctor comes from? or Russia, where he is working now?
Benedikt, Moscow
01/12/2016 11:36
3
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