Monday, January 25, 2010

Just Because They Can: Scientists To Breed Giant Cattle

Another reason I'm glad I'm not a meat eater. . .


More surreal hubris; some Italian scientists want to bring back the Auroch, the giant cattle of cave man painting days. The last of the Auroch's was seen in Poland in the 1600s. They stood over six feet tall at the shoulder, dangerous, huge beasts. Which the scientists are well aware of; they're excited about recreating these animals and acknowledge the danger, but have no idea what to do with them once they get them:
If the Italian-led project is successful, it will raise questions of what to do with an animal which boasts a size and temper akin to a tetchy rhinoceros.
"Even the wild cattle we have today are very hard to handle and an auroch would be even more difficult," said Dr Barber. "Aurochs were significantly larger than any cattle in existence and they would be potentially dangerous.
"There would be some serious management issues – to look after their teeth and feet, for instance, you might have to sedate them with dart guns.
Adding to the surreal context is the fact that the last person who thought reviving this mysterious, magnificant and fierce creature was Hitler:
The last time there was an attempt to recreate the animal was on the express orders of Hitler. The Nazis ordered a pair of German zoologists to recreate the auroch as part of the Third Reich's belief in racial superiority and eugenics.
Herman Goering hoped to use the aurochs to populate a vast hunting reserve which he planned to create in the conquered territories of Eastern Europe.
Thanks to The Anomalist for the link.

Giant cattle to be bred back from extinction

Image Public Domain

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