46 points by kposehn 5 months ago
The Belyayev foxes have always fascinated me. And I've wondered about the feasibility of applying his domestication protocol to other animals, like apes, raccoons, etc. Or alternating selection for tameness with intelligence every few dozen generations.
Maybe David Brin's idea of Uplift could become a reality.
I'll take a pet bear, please.
I'll take one a few generations after yours.
A Polish Army unit had one in WWII: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wojtek_(bear)
Apparently he was used to help move crates of ammunition.
meet Jimbo https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e4E9yrGczbk
Oh, he died this year :(
Have fun picking up after it.
Thanks for sharing your concern but my pet bear exists in the same fantasy where I own so much mountainous land that I don't have to worry about that. Your move.
I thought bears shit in the woods! Have I been mislead this entire time?
If they figure out the relevant genes, it would be interesting to see how these genes correlate with life success in humans.
So when I was a kid I when visiting my family in Australia I tamed a Cockatoo. A Cockatoo is an Australian Parrot, After I left back for the UK, my aunt never forgave me. Joe, the Cockatoo became very dependent on the family.
I grew up on the Kings Road in London and a local shop has a pet lion called Christian. A film was made about Christian been returned to the wild. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=btuxO-C2IzE
In my 30's I tried to tame some foxes, using dog food as a sign of peace. They would enter my cottage when I had the TV on, but would never go closer than about 5 feet.
But it was quite cool having foxes in one's own house. It used to scare quests, who would normally think they were wild dogs.
BUT I know belive wild animals should be wild. We project meaning on them, that is our interpretation.
Taming foxes and then going on holiday. Result - entering a different house and getting shot.
Racoons are actually very easy to domesticate.
Technically, the word you are looking for is 'tame' not 'domesticate'. Quoting https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tame_animal :
> Domestication should not be confused with taming. Taming is the conditioned behavioral modification of a wild-born animal when its natural avoidance of humans is reduced and it accepts the presence of humans, but domestication is the permanent genetic modification of a bred lineage that leads to an inherited predisposition toward humans.[
I had one as a child, but it got mean when it got older. Similar story with lots of other semi-tame animals, in my (farm childhood) experience.
Those genes activated by puberty might be ones to target.
So why doesn't everyone have domesticated pet raccoons?
Do you mean domesticated as in breeding for traits, or just raising them to be socialized with humans?