Mammoths to be Reintroduced to Colorado Amid Concerns They Could Get Wild

Mammoths to be Reintroduced to Colorado Amid Concerns They Could Get Wild

Colorado voters approved a special ballot measure last Friday to reintroduce woolly mammoths to the Western Slope. The measure requires the state to introduce a full herd by 2030.

State representative and avid environmental activist Phoebe Flintstone, I-Denver, wrote the proposal and gathered signatures to get it on this spring’s ballot.

“You know, climate change drove these things out of here, and they were really critical elements of our ecosystem. It’s time we bring them back,” Flintstone said, adjusting her bone septum piercing.

Scientists agree that a warming climate at the end of the Ice Age drove mammoths to extinction 10,000 years ago. Some researchers have argued that mammoths’ extinction allowed for a spike in North American wildfires because the grazing behemoths were no longer around to hoover up dry grass and vegetation through their trunks.

“If we reintroduce the mammoth, we could get our current fires back under control,” said Dr. Ivory Tauer, a researcher at Harfhard University. Tauer is part of a team of researchers who made headlines when they successfully impregnated an Asian elephant with a mammoth calf. The newborn calf, affectionately called “Manny,” has already started breaking down fences at his research facility in Wyoming.

Meanwhile, ranchers and other property owners on the Western Slope say the reintroduction will be disastrous.

“My ranch isn’t Jurassic Park,” said Collbran rancher Weejuss Wannabeleff Alown. “What am I gonna do when one of these things is bashing down my fences? Call Jeff Goldblum? Chris Pratt?”

Boulder resident Dreadlock Whiteman said he voted for the measure because mammoths are “pretty cool.”

“I mean, imagine seeing one of those things in real life,” Whiteman said, “like for real, like really alive. I mean, just imagine that, dude. I mean you can’t even imagine it because it’s so out there. And it’s gonna happen for real. I mean, that’s pretty sick dude. You know?”

When asked whether he thinks the reintroductions could negatively impact Western Slope communities, Whiteman appeared confused.

“Western Slope what?” he asked.

“The people who live there,” the Aspen Daily News clarified.

“Oh shit,” he responded. “That’s gonna be wild.”


By: Justin Verona| Aspen Daily News I April 7, 2024

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