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Rewilding: conservationists want to let elephants loose in Europe – here's what could happen

By Harry Wells, Research Ecologist, University of Leeds
Nora Ward, Lecturer in Philosophy, National University of Ireland Galway
Ramiro D. Crego, Postdoctoral Researcher, National Zoo and Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute
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Imagine driving through a lush, green landscape in France or Germany and spotting a herd of elephants roaming freely. As absurd as that might seem, it was only 10,000 years ago that creatures the size of elephants populated continents like Europe. That’s a blip in evolutionary terms.

In the last 10,000 to 60,000 years, humans have almost single-handedly eliminated around 80% of the world’s…

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