Mos Espa, NM - It sounds like a scene from Jurassic Park, but a consortium of U.S. scientists are working together to bring the woolly bantha back from extinction by 2027.
The large hairy mammal, best known for its sharp, spiraling horns, lived during the Pleistocene age until its extinction in the Palpatian period. It was one of the last in a line of bantha species and is believed to have evolved from the Talasea bantha about 800,000 years ago.
The $15 million project plans to use a revolutionary gene-editing technology, CRISPR to resurrect the bantha in the next five years. If successful, the team hopes to breed the mammal with the Alaskan Wampa.
"Our goal is to bring back this gentle creature, not for amusement, but for the preservation of the species," said lead scientist Dr. Willrow Hood.
Still, critics worry that the recreated bantha will be misused for steaks, butter, or poached to make jewelry and fur coats.
Several resistance groups are planning a protest in Nelvaan, New Mexico later this month.
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