Excerpt from the book: “The Last Animal” by Ramona Ausubel



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Ramona Ausubel, the award-winning author of “Sons and Daughters of Tranquility and Plenty,” returns with “The Last Animal” (Riverhead Books), his upbeat take on “Jurassic Park,” about the startling discovery of a perfectly preserved 4,000-year-old baby mammoth.

Read an excerpt below.

“The Last Animal” by Ramona Ausubel

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“I feel like digging.”

So they dug. Eve dug in one direction and Vera dug in the other and the thing was long and as thick as a small tree trunk. It had pores and skin, and it had fur. Vera came to a curve and followed the shape down until she found the end, where there was an opening. “It’s a trunk,” she said. “It’s a trunkEvie”.

They dug faster, both on Eve’s side, hoping the trunk was attached to a body, a whole mammoth frozen in this place.

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“If there’s a body, we should go find help,” Eve said.

But when the trunk ended faster than they expected and the body stuck to it was small and they realized it was a frozen baby, it felt more like a rescue mission than a discovery and they didn’t stop but dug until they found their way. fingers got soaked and froze. It was perfect. It was sad, beautiful and perfect. The size of a large dog. “Pull,” Eve said, and they reached around her back, Vera in front and Eve in back, and hugged this cold body, and pulled hard, leaning against the cliff until it thumped free. sucking sound and both girls fell backwards. The mammoth smelled of early rot. It was starting to thaw. Vera shook him off and got up. She was elated and upset and there was a ruckus in her chest. “This is happening?” she asked. It seemed that the animal could at any moment open her big eyes.

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Extracted from “The Last Animal” by Ramona Ausubel. Copyright © 2023 by Ramona Ausubel. All rights reserved. No part of this extract may be reproduced or reprinted without the written permission of the publisher.

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See also:

De-extinction: bringing animal species back from the brink


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