Why We Shouldn’t Bring Back Extinct Animals

Around 60 million years ago, roaming the earth was a 42-foot snake called Titanoboa, living in the tropical rainforest in South America. This huge reptile could only be sustained by a diet comprising mammals, large crocodiles, and even T-rexes. Though it was not venomous, it has a monstrous appetite and would kill its prey by constriction. Titanoboa was an apex predator that sat on top of the food chain, with no other animal a threat to it.

On the other hand, Megalodon ruled the ocean world. This massive ocean creature was much scarier any modern shark would pale in comparison. The Megalodon went extinct around 2.6 million years ago. They stood some 50 feet and were as twice as much the length of the modern white shark, which is the current largest species. It is believed that a bite force of a Megalodon was 41,000 lbs, which is more than ten times that of the great white shark.

On the skies, Pteranodon’s dropping could actually kill a human due to its size. It is a good thing humans didn’t live the same period as these and many other scariest animals that have gone extinct.

However, there are other reasons why we shouldn’t bring back these extinct animals.

I know some people argue that we should resurrect these species to correct the wrongs we made that caused them to go into extinction in the first place. For instance, the Great auk was brought to extinction by human activities in the most gruesome manner, and many believe that by bringing them back, we would right the wrong.

Most of the animals that went to extinction would not live with humans as they were utterly terrifying and dangerous. Some people might argue that we bring back the animals that would not threaten to wipe off the human population, but still, I am against bringing any animal back from extinction. And here are my reasons: 

1. There is a reason the animals went to extinction in the first place

First of all, there is a good reason why these animals went extinct, whether it was due to human activities or natural causes. So the major questions are: have these reasons for initial extinction disappeared? If not, it is safe to assume that they would still be sent to extinction?

2. The welfare of the animals

Bringing these animals will pose another challenge in the name of their own welfare. People could start exploiting the animals for selfish reasons, which may cause the animal more harm. It is also unlikely that the current climate would be suitable for them, with high temperatures dominating most parts of the planet.

3. Evolution

Nature had something to do with these animals going extinct. So even if humans would bring them back, thanks to modern technology, evolution may force them back to extinction. This is because there would be a small population of the species with highly limited genetic diversity. Unless scientists can create genetic diversity with more than 100 genetically dissimilar individuals, the tiny population of the animals brought back from extinction will result in unhealthy and even sterile offspring.

4. Ethology Concerns

Ethology is the science of animal behavior. Generally, animals learn new behavior by watching other members of species. So say we bring back a Mammoth from extinction, how is it going to learn to live like a Mammoth if it is the only species available. A perfect example to back this argument is the captive condor breeding program, which was launched to save the California condor from extinction. But the birds that were released into the woods turned out to be less social with fellow flocks of condors and showed some unnatural curiosity about humans. So with no parents or other species to teach them, bringing back an animal species from extinction may not be a sound idea.

5. Ecological Effects

Reintroducing endangered species back may have tremendous effects on the local ecology. The past experience could be the best teacher. When scientists brought back grey wolf to Yellowstone, the wolves preyed on the elk and deer. As a result, the aspen flourished, helping the beavers in the process. Thus, it is not easy to estimate the damages of the new species in the local ecology, and some dangers might be irreversible.

6. Health Concerns

With the current outbreak of the coronavirus, humans will be very careful when experimenting with animals they don’t know much about. These species could be holding retroviruses or harmful pathogens when re-introduced back to life.

7. Ethical Issues

Why exactly do we want to reintroduce these animals? Is it due to the guilt for the role we played in them going to extinction? What if we run out of interest on these reintroduced species? What will become of them?
There is a good chance the d-extinct species will not survive without special care. Are we committed to this course, or we will get tired and let them go to a second extinction?

Last but not least, which species should we reintroduce, because you don’t want a sky filled with pterodactyls or a tropical rain forest dominated by Titanoboa!

Think about the tragic Jurassic Park or Pleistocene Park. So rather than thinking about reintroducing extinct species, we should be focusing on saving the creatures that are about to go extinct, such as orangutan, tiger, pangolins, and vaquita.
The world is filled with wonderful creatures that face extinction, and it will be nice if we directed our attention there.

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Wesam Hamdoch

Be optimistic, and you will succeed.

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