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Russian Scientist Tried To Create a 'Humanzee'

Fact is often unbelievable in this case that is for certain. Here is an article by Rupendra Brahambhatt.

Russian biologist, Ilya Ivanovich Ivanov was a master in the field of animal hybridization and artificial insemination. He conducted a number of experiments to create mixed-breed animals such as the Zedonk (a hybrid of a zebra and a donkey) and a guinea pig-mouse.

However, among all his peculiar experiments, his proposal for a humanzee (a hybrid of human and chimpanzee) was the most sensational and controversial of his career.

Ivanov first put forward the idea of humanzee in 1910 at the World Congress of Zoologists in Graz, Australia. In his presentation, he claimed that it might one day be possible to create hybrids between humans and their closest relatives, using artificial insemination. At the time, this notion was just speculation, but that would change after the Russian revolution in 1917.

In 1924, Ivanov put his proposals for a human-chimp hybridization experiment to the government. Although the scientific community were not on board, Ivanov got both approval for his work and funding for a trip to Africa to collect apes. Documents indicate the decision was pushed through by leading members of the Bolshevik government.

Ivanov set off for Africa in 1926, after first securing the support of Pasteur Institute, who ran a primate centre in Guinea, then part of French West Africa. He reached Guinea in late March, but none of the Institute's chimps was mature enough to breed. In November, Ivanov returned to Guinea to try again.

Despite Ivanov's efforts, his experiments in French Guinea failed. None of the chimps conceived. However, this failure didn’t shake Ivanov’s will to create a humanzee, he came up with a new idea, in which he aimed to fertilize a human female with the sperm from a male chimpanzee. Ivanov headed home with an assortment of chimps to stock a new ape nursery in the subtropical Soviet republic of Abkhazia. At least five women eventually volunteered for the bizarre experiment. But the apes Ivanov had brought back did not flourish in the unfamiliar surrounding, and by 1929, when Ivanov was ready to proceed, the only adult male left was Tarzan, a 26-year-old orangutan, who suffered from a brain hemorrhage and died.

New apes were about to arrive at the facility in 1930, but before they could, Ivanov fell victim to the widespread purge of Soviet scientists and was exiled to Kazakhstan. Although he was released the following year, he remained in exile in Kazakhstan, and died of a stroke in 1932. Soviet attempts to create a human-chimpanzee hybrid died with him.

Ilya Ivanovich Ivanov was a controversial scientist and researcher. Although he couldn’t fulfill his dream, some would say that his experiments challenged the laws of nature by creating animal hybrids that were never seen before.

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