Breaking New Ground is very excited to announce a truly ground-breaking project in the Brecks the likes of which has never before been witnessed in this sleepy landscape, at least not for a few thousand years. Scientists at Japan’s ‘Detchiage’ Centre for Experimental Biology have successfully implanted a viable sperm cell from an adolescent mammoth found in Siberia into a donor egg from an African elephant - the closest living relative of the mammoth. After many unsuccessful attempts and kept out of the public eye for obvious reasons, the donor mother gave birth in 2011 to the world’s first ‘elemoth’, a hybrid of African elephant and mammoth.
Japan is not within the native range of the mammoth and much research has been conducted to find the most suitable habitat for the young mammoth to be released into. The Brecks was once home to many now extinct creatures, with remains of mammoth being found at Lynford. The Brecks landscape is ideal for mammoth with vast expanses of heathland, trees and grasses to feed upon. It is expected over the coming years that many more elemoths will be bred and released, slowly introducing more mammoth DNA over time so that eventually the population becomes pure mammoth.
After much consideration and consultation with landowners it has been decided that an undisclosed heathland location in the Norfolk and Suffolk Brecks would be the best place to release ‘Keith’, as the young elemoth has been affectionately named. The fences will be raised to 8m around the perimeter of the heath and built from reinforced concrete to keep Keith in as he is expected to grow to quite a size. Anyone witnessing the construction of the perimeter fence is asked to keep it to themselves. Once he’s settled in subsidised Helicopter tours sponsored by the ‘Funding Active Kids Enterprise’ will be running on a daily basis to allow locals and tourists alike an opportunity to see Keith roaming around the heath, engaging in typical elemoth behaviour such as pushing over trees and playing in sand-pits.
Please note as most areas of heath are Open Access land, dogs must be kept on leads at all times so as not to disturb Keith or any of the rare ground nesting birds that occur in the Brecks. Keith has been known to show affection to dogs in Japan as he was growing up from a small elemothlet but please do steer well clear, his trunk can give you a nasty thump if he gets over excited. Please also refrain from throwing any Frisbees near him as he will simply not leave you alone if he thinks you want to play.
Nick Dickson, Breaking New Ground Project Manager said “It’s a fantastic achievement for the Brecks to welcome another extinct species back to the area after the successful reintroduction of the Pool Frog to Thompson Common last summer. We are so excited for the arrival of Keith on the heath, I’ve bought 6 balloons, a shiny hat and a bag of monkey nuts to welcome him into his new home”.
Note: This was an April Fool’s Day joke by the BNG team, no elemoths will be released, your Frisbees are safe. Well done to all those that weren’t fooled!