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Breeding back (wikipedia.org)
49 points by networked on Feb 5, 2016 | hide | past | favorite | 7 comments

As a holiday job during my undergraduate degree I worked at the iThemba Labs particle accelerator in Cape Town. They have a braai (barbecue) event annually.

I was told we were eating a quagga, an extinct species of zebra that was being bred back on the grounds of various facilities in the area. They have to periodically cull the quagga that roam free on the grounds of the particle accelerator.

When people ask how it tasted I say "rare".

And I just realized where the Quagga routing suite (which is a fork of GNU Zebra) got it's name :)

Ahhh...me, too!

I've eaten a lot of wild game, including rattlesnake steak, and wonder if taliesinb could compare the taste of aqagga to any semi-popular meats...?

On a side note I've always marveled at the "animal husbandry" practiced by the Amish dairy farmers who live not far from me...no lab, no testing, little theory other than that passed down orally through the generations...yet they always maintain sturdy healthy-looking herds...

An interesting article...glad it was posted...thanks...

It's not that surprising. Animal husbandry quite plausibly predates civilization, let alone labs / theory / written records.

More a novelty than an actual scientific undertaking, since most "breeding back" currently being undertaken is just selecting for a few of the most prominent physical features.

It's an interesting idea, but I would guess we'll have better luck with direct genetic manipulation of embryos and then using the existing species to birth them.

In the linked article https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heck_cattle (an attempt to breed back aurochs), this is amusing:

"Derek Gow, a British conservationist who operates a rare breeds farm at Lifton near Okehampton in Devon, bought a herd of 13 Heck cattle from Belgium in 2009.[15] The herd grew to 20 animals, but in January 2015 it was reported that Gow had had to slaughter most of them due to high levels of aggression, leaving just six."

It's interesting to think that Eurasia and North America once had a diversity of megafauna comparable to Africa and Australia.

Pleistocene rewilding seems unrealistic, but it's nice to think about.

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