The saying “as dead as a dodo” could soon be factually incorrect. That’s because the Mauritian Wildlife Foundation (MWF) has teamed up with a genetic engineering company to bring back the extinct bird.
The Mauritius native bird has been extinct since 1681 due to a combination of humans and other animals introduced to the island by humans.
The engineering company Colossal Biosciences is the MWF’s partner in the project and the company also aims to reintroduce woolly mammoth.
Sky News reports that the restored dodo will be indiscernible from what we know of the dodo’s appearance.
Matt James, Colossal’s chief animal officer described the project as “an amazing engine of innovation for avian genetics, genomics, and cell biology because most of the technologies that we use for cloning in mammals do not exist in birds today”.
James refused to share their timeline with the public.
While the scientists are preparing for the reintroduction of the dodo, the MWF is preparing the island for the bird’s arrival. To recreate the bird’s natural habitat is a challenge as Mauritius isn’t a big island and most of the island has been replaced by buildings, villages, reservoirs and sugar cane since the dodo last lived on the island.
Image credit: Wikipedia