While de-extinction research may benefit conservation efforts overall, we shouldn’t have to rely on it to give a wildlife a future

There is a beautiful, heartbreaking scene near the end of the 2011 movie The Hunter. Shot in Tasmania, the film tells the story of a mercenary hired by a global biotech company to find, take DNA samples from, and destroy a thylacine that is rumoured to have survived deep in the state’s wilderness.

When the last Tasmanian tiger appears in CGI form at the movie’s climax, walking slowly and alone through the snow, the impact of seeing the lost species in its natural habitat is quietly devastating. The mercenary, played by Willem Dafoe, makes an equally devastating, and complicated, choice.

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