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Woolly mammoth revival project raises another $60 million

March 9, 2022, 3:33 PM UTC

The Dallas-based company that’s hoping to bring the woolly mammoth back from extinction has received a major cash infusion.

Colossal Biosciences, which launched in September with $15 million in seed funding, has raised another $60 million for its plan, with Paris Hilton and the executive producer of Jurassic World and Where the Wild Things Are among the new crop of investors.

Mammoths are “like the cuddly version of a velociraptor,” said Colossal founder and Harvard University geneticist George Church in a call announcing the funding. “They’re vegetarian; they’re not threatening.”

The company hopes to fuse the DNA of mammoths that has been frozen in ice for thousands of years with that of modern Asian elephants.

The project has certainly gathered a diverse group of investors. Beyond Hilton, this round included Thomas Tull, founder and former CEO of Legendary Entertainment. Previous investors include bestselling author Tony Robbins and crypto evangelists Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss of Winklevoss Capital. Part of the appeal for those investors is less about woolly mammoths and the potential of genetic engineering to advance human health and enhance global food production.

“We’re making the path to de-extinction and species preservation a reality by bringing the planet one step closer to reversing the downward trend of ecosystem degradation and the staggering loss of biodiversity through cutting-edge genetic tools,” said Ben Lamm, cofounder and CEO of Colossal, in a statement. “The technologies and solutions developed through our mammoth restoration project will not only return Arctic elephants to the tundra, but will target larger implications for conservation, science, and humanity.”

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