Everyone looked through the window. They almost seemed unable to breath. The specialists on the other side were carefully helping the female elephant to get on the floor and lay down on her side. The animal was strangely restless and wouldn’t listen to any human. She gave a couple steps backwards and some forward. Her eyes went from the people around her, to the window, to the door. For a moment, some thought she was trying to figure out how the get out of there, by force if necessary. But the truth was that she was really restless.
One of the people around her injected her with a serum to make her a bit more manageable, as they needed her on the floor and not pacing around in desperation. Of course, in the wild, the animal had her young whenever she felt was a safe and good place to have hit. It wasn’t a thing of being comfortable but more to do with the fact of being safe. In that room, however, she didn’t feel safe at all and that’s why she kept moving and refused to do what was natural. She felt danger all around and she was all that wrong.
After all, every woman and man around her were there to take way her young as soon as she had it. Or at least that was the initial idea, until they discusses it and arrived to the conclusion that taken the cub away from the mother could have really important consequences for his survival. The baby probably needed his mother’s milk but also her protection and love. If they showed her they only wanted to help, maybe she wouldn’t feel so hostile towards them and may even be able to let them do their research on him, if that was their goal.
After a second injection, the elephant finally lay down on the floor on her side. She begin to make a really weird sound that one expert called a “sign of melancholia”. It was very strange to attribute human traits to animals but it wasn’t uncommon to see creatures behaving exactly like actual people, especially when they have been living or have been very close to a large amount of people or even just one person in particular. It happens with dogs and even with cats and birds. It’s a strange form of attachment, still pretty uncommon though.
They soon started making tests on her and helping her breathe properly. The people behind the glass were glued to it, as it was the first time that they would be in the presence of the miracle of life. The women there had never had children and no one had been in the room for the delivery of a human baby, much less and elephant baby. They were looking forward to it but the process also made them really nervous because they knew elephants could be very temperamental and even a real danger if you were in the wrong place, at the wrong time.
But the one there was to drugged up to do anything against anyone. A couple of scientists started massaging the animal’s belly, trying to stimulate the birth. It was a very long process until some of the effect of the drugs wore off and it was the creature herself that pushed the baby out because she obviously felt obliged to do it. She was desperate to have her baby and once she had it, she turned around her head to see how he was and if he was alive. Elephants would even eat the placenta too, as nutritious as it is but that didn’t happen.
The mother touched her cub with the trunk and then let out a very loud sound that seemed to be product of fear or something worse. Again, they gave her a shot and she was sleepy for a while and then fell asleep for real. The baby was then helped to her milk and while he was getting fed, they measured everything and started taking pictures. The people behind the glass couldn’t do that because their cellphones had been taken away form them but they understood why: the new creature they were looking at was something else.
The process had been a success and the insemination of an elephant with DNA from an extinct species had been successful. The young mammoth seemed to be just perfect. He was drinking milk like crazy but he also seemed to be very curious, looking around the room and at the people. His fur was still a little bit wet but the thick brown fur could easily be appreciated. One scientist dared to take off his gloves and attempt t touch him but the supervisor caught him just in the right second. They couldn’t allow that.
After eating, the creature seemed to be very interested in his surroundings. He even walked slowly towards the glass and lightly touched it with his trunk. The people on the other side were ecstatic, they couldn’t even begin to understand how amazing what they were watching was. No human had seen one of those for the last four thousand years and now, as if it was the most normal thing in the world, there was a mammoth walking around, touching almost everything with his trunk, being caressed softly by the scientist that were proud of their work.
The cub went back to his mother and he seemed to notice that she wasn’t really responding. The reason was simple: she was asleep after all the effort and didn’t have the opportunity to properly meet her child. However, most people had noticed that the mother had not been very eager to see him as much as the scientists were. It was pretty understandable: after all, she was an elephant and she had just delivered a baby into the world that didn’t look like her, at all.
As the cub moved around and did small sounds with his trunk, the people behind the glass were simply over the moon. They had been told that they were going to see something very special and amazing but they would have never guessed an extinct creature was the secret of the facility. They thought a cure for some awful disease had been found or that something to do with communications had been discovered. The world did not receive news like this one every day so it wasn’t a surprise that every electronic device had been taken from them
They were given five more minutes for observation and then a very kind young woman came and told them to exit the room and follow her. They did exactly that and joined her to a conference room, where she left them alone for a couple of minutes. In that time, every single one of them bursted into talk, saying how simply incredible what they had seen was. Their general opinion was that what they had just seen could be one of those world-changing things people love to talk about. It could be very big and important.
The group was made of entrepreneurs, journalists and other scientists whose specialty was not biology. The woman came back and asked them to fill a survey and they she told them they could begin elaborate their plans but that they would need final approval by the laboratory in order to publish a paper, release a statement about any ideas or projects or anything related to the mammoth. They all nodded and the woman left again, with the promise to return their electronic devices to them when she returned. And so she did.
As the men and women were being escorted to the entrance, they realized that the secret was really important for the people that had done this. And they also realized that the laboratories had challenged some ethical procedures. Besides that, they hadn’t been presented with an explanation of why they had done what they had done. And why a mammoth? Other animals had been dead for millions of years and DNA had also been found from them. Why not a dinosaur or an ancient wolf or an extinct tropical bird?
The moment they stepped the parking lot, most of them started calling their boards or their most trusted advisors. Ideas had come up in the way to the front gate and they were already envisioning many things to do with the creature. It was a small and furry gold mine that could translate in many more extinct gold mines in the future. But their enthusiasm was broken when a scientist ran towards the lady that had attended to them and announced something sad: “The mammoth and his mother just died”.