The Dinosaur Protection Group (DPG) is a non-governmental, nonprofit de-extinct animal rights advocacy organization based primarily in the United States of America. It was founded in the Mission District of San Francisco, California in March 2017 by Claire Dearing, the former Operations Manager of Jurassic World, to lobby for legal protection of de-extinct animals. Despite its name, it supports the protection of all de-extinct animal species, not only dinosaurs. Its main goals include protections against animal exploitation, the use of de-extinct life for financial gain, and the provision of a sustainable environment for de-extinct animals to inhabit with minimal human intervention. It has no specific motto, but usually uses slogans such as We Can Save Them and Save The Dinos!
The DPG was not affiliated with any political party and refused to be swayed by political donation. However, efforts to be non-political in the real world are always in vain; the concepts of animal rights and genetic engineering are highly politicized and place the DPG firmly on the left side of the political spectrum. Its mission was firmly opposed by conservative interest groups such as Extinction Now!, numerous private citizens, and political organizations, including the President of the United States (2016-2020). The organization was most active between September 2017 and June 2018, the time during which the Mount Sibo controversy was taking place. Its activity has declined since the eruption of Mount Sibo and subsequent incident at the Lockwood estate in Orick, California.
Though it has not been updated since the incidents of 2018, the DPG does have a website.
1986-2015: A background on de-extinct animal rights
The issue of de-extinct animal rights long predates the Dinosaur Protection Group. International Genetic Technologies, Inc. was the first company to pioneer de-extinction, with geneticist Dr. Henry Wu being a key player in the development of this science. Using cutting-edge gene splicing techniques and new discoveries in paleogenetics, the first animal species (the ceratopsid Triceratops horridus) was cloned at a laboratory facility on Isla Sorna in 1986. InGen, founded by Dr. John Hammond and Sir Benjamin Lockwood, aimed to create a tourist attraction called Jurassic Park which would exhibit these de-extinct Mesozoic animals. In 1987, plans for the Park relocated it from San Diego, California to the remote Costa Rican island of Isla Nublar, somewhat near the Site B facility on Isla Sorna.
Development on the Park was difficult, as could be expected for such an ambitious technological project, and not the least among these was the animals. Not only had humans never encountered these species before, Dr. Wu’s genetic engineering techniques necessitated biological alterations to them as they were manufactured. This meant that even with paleontological knowledge to build off of, some aspects of the animals’ biology would be utterly unpredictable. InGen, therefore, was unable to predict the animals’ needs with complete accuracy. The best they could do was bring in expert veterinarians such as Dr. Gerry Harding of the San Diego Zoo and hope that these doctors’ expertise could be applied to these new, genetically-modified dinosaurs.
InGen established numerous measures to control the animals for the safety and security of Jurassic Park. Some of the species they created included ones that could potentially harm or even kill a human, and until their behavior could be predicted better, InGen sought to manage them by force. One of the more controversial methods of control was the lysine contingency, which made the animals dependent on lysine supplements provided by InGen. Without these, they would become comatose and die. This would make it impossible for the animals to survive if they escaped. This was met with resistance from some InGen staff such as paleogeneticist Dr. Laura Sorkin, but was made company policy. Accepting it became a mandatory condition for new employment at the Park. Since the lysine contingency was the brainchild of Dr. Wu, this gained him popularity with InGen’s upper management including Hammond, and Wu was promoted to the position of chief geneticist. Another method of control implemented by InGen after being developed by Wu was the maintenance of a single-sex environment. By forcing all the Park animals to develop as female, the genetics staff could ensure that breeding was controlled. The Park warden, Robert Muldoon, went so far as to suggest that some species (chiefly Velociraptor) should be exterminated entirely as controlling them was extremely challenging.
Velociraptor, in fact, has historically been at the center of the de-extinction debate. It was an intelligent animal in prehistory, but genetic engineering has drastically enhanced its cognition. Now the complexity of its intelligence is second only to humans, surpassing all other known dinosaurs and the majority of mammals. This makes containing it excessively difficult, and it never actually flourishes in captivity. In Jurassic Park, the raptors suffered a massive blow to their population when a violent restructuring of power within the pack occurred, leaving only three survivors including the instigator. This may have been due to the fact that they were breeding without InGen’s knowledge; genetic engineering had inadvertently made them protogynous, changing from female to male. The raptors’ aggression toward their handlers led to InGen relocating them to a tiny holding pen, separating them from their eggs (which InGen was not aware of). Further maladaptive behaviors followed, and the death of a worker halted the Jurassic Park project. Lockwood left InGen sometime before this, having found irreconcilable ethical disagreements with Hammond.
InGen’s Board of Directors mandated a tour of outside experts to endorse the Park, which occurred in June 1993. During the inspection, the Park’s chief programmer Dennis Nedry sabotaged the Park’s security systems in order to steal trade secrets, having been bribed by a corporate rival. This interrupted the endorsement tour, causing several casualties and widespread damage to Park infrastructure. Jurassic Park was shelved, as recovering Isla Nublar was deemed impossible. The lysine contingency also failed for unrelated reasons.
Hammond was changed by the 1993 incident, and intended to keep the remaining dinosaurs safe from human interference. The failure of Jurassic Park had exposed to him just how little they knew about how the dinosaurs were meant to live, and so Hammond minimized human presence on Isla Sorna to allow the dinosaurs to go about their lives as they decided. Hurricane Clarissa forced a final evacuation of the island in 1995, and it remained as abandoned as Isla Nublar afterward. InGen grew dissatisfied with Hammond’s performance as CEO and ultimately fired him in early 1997, replacing him with Peter Ludlow. As his first act, Ludlow enacted a plan to retrieve dinosaurs from Isla Sorna and open a smaller Jurassic Park at its original San Diego location. Hammond organized a small team to sabotage Ludlow’s efforts, believing that the dinosaurs had a right to live undisturbed. Conversely, Ludlow believed that the dinosaurs should be treated as products, since they existed only because of InGen’s patented technology. The end result of this conflict was the accidental release of a male Tyrannosaurus rex into downtown San Diego, blatantly revealing the existence of de-extinction to the public.
Debate immediately raged over what to do regarding de-extinction. While the incident resulted in property damage and at least one civilian death (as well as Ludlow’s death), Hammond and some sympathetic San Diego citizens implored the authorities to keep Isla Sorna safe from interference. The United States government began reviewing the world’s first de-extinction legislature. With help from Hammond and several other InGen employees, the U.S. House Committee of Science passed the Ethical Negligence in Paleo-Genetic Resurrection (ENPGR) Bill in late 1997 under the simpler name Gene Guard Act. This bill outlawed de-extinction research across the board, extended endangered animal protections to de-extinct species, and strictly limited access to habitats where de-extinct animals lived. To enforce this latter part of the bill’s restrictions, the United States obtained cooperation from the United Nations and the Costa Rican Department of Biological Preserves. Hammond passed away not long after.
Though they were both gone, Hammond and Ludlow’s philosophies set the stage for the de-extinct animal rights debate. Whether the dinosaurs should be considered living creatures with rights or corporate products has been hotly contested for decades since, and it has only grown more complicated. For the time, though, the United States government and other authorities took Hammond’s side of the argument. InGen did not: they nearly went bankrupt in 1997, saved only by being bought out by Masrani Global Corporation in 1998, but within one hundred days of this merger research resumed illegally on Isla Sorna. Masrani Global’s CEO, Simon Masrani, may not have even been aware of this; he had been a close friend of Hammond’s and largely agreed with him on de-extinct animal rights. However, Masrani believed that protecting the dinosaurs meant keeping them in captivity. This would help the public appreciate them, and generate revenue that could be put toward improving their lives. While the illegal operation on Isla Sorna was ended in mid-1999, it caused permanent ecological devastation to the island and produced research projects that would be used for further development of Jurassic Park.
Simon Masrani fully intended to keep the dinosaurs well cared for, and in 1999 was granted limited access to Isla Sorna and Isla Nublar by the United Nations. Plans were put in place to resurrect Jurassic Park, which Masrani decided to rebrand Jurassic World. In April 2002, construction came underway on Isla Nublar, with the herbivorous dinosaurs being relocated to Isla Sorna and most of the carnivores being captured and contained on-site. The following year, a Masrani Global representative (whose name has been scrubbed from official records) made a case before the U.S. House Committee of Science to amend the Gene Guard Act, removing sanctions on de-extinction research. The argument was that de-extinction has the potential to discover significant medical advancements, bettering human and animal health, and that de-extinction research would improve the lives of existing animals. The proposal was accepted, but not without some bribery on the part of Masrani Global. It no longer outlaws de-extinction research. Corporate entities such as Masrani Global have full access to Isla Sorna, though it is still off-limits to tourists (largely because of its corporate ownership). The only real function the Gene Guard Act technically performs is the extension of endangered species protections to de-extinct species, but this is rarely enforced, since de-extinct species are not considered natural wildlife.
This major blow to de-extinct animal rights came in time to allow Jurassic World to build itself into a modernized version of John Hammond’s original dream, as reimagined by Simon Masrani. Isla Sorna was in a state of full trophic cascade by early 2004, so Masrani authorized the relocation of all surviving animals to Isla Nublar. This conveniently built up a healthy stock of animals for Jurassic World, since the newly-bred species were not grown yet. The park opened on the final day of May 2005 and was immediately a massive success.
Animal rights at Jurassic World were largely good, but not without notable failures. On the plus side, the health of the animals was far better than in Jurassic Park or in the wild, since veterinary science had advanced in the past few years and InGen now had the funding of a multi-billion-dollar company behind it to perform research. It hired the world’s first paleoveterinarians, a subset of veterinary medicine specializing in de-extinct life. Dinosaurian diseases were identified and cures developed. The medicinal and dietary needs of the animals were finally mostly understood at Jurassic World. But not all went smoothly; before the park opened, there were numerous health issues with the dinosaurs as they were reintroduced from Isla Sorna, and an incident led to a Velociraptor being euthanized after it mauled an intern. Even while the park was in operation, many of the animals lacked proper stimulation and became bored and listless, and some of them (particularly the pterosaurs) were kept in insufficient habitats.
Genetic engineering advanced by leaps and bounds, with Dr. Wu growing more confident and egotistical with every successful experiment. He researched the effects of genomic hybridization between animals, one of the mistakes that had led to the problems in Jurassic Park, and learned how to manipulate it. In the late 1990s he had already discovered how to create new genera through artificial hybridogenesis; he extended this practice to animals in the early 2010s, creating a hybrid animal called Indominus rex in 2012. At the same time, InGen sought to control the unruly Velociraptors and finally integrate them into the park, initiating the I.B.R.I.S. project to research this. The project was overseen largely by InGen Security, with its head Vic Hoskins managing it. Hoskins intended to use de-extinction and genetic engineering to create better military animals, having a background in the U.S. Armed Forces and opposing the military’s development of drone technology (which he considered too fallible). Both the Indominus and I.B.R.I.S. were a part of his overall plan to implement genetically-engineered animals in the U.S. Armed Forces. This aim was opposed by many InGen staff, including the lead I.B.R.I.S. staff Owen Grady and Barry Sembène as well as Simon Masrani himself.
Hoskins’s intentions for the Indominus were not known to the rest of InGen until December 2015, when a series of management errors accidentally released the specimen out from Paddock 11 where it was temporarily housed. During the ensuing incident, Grady and the park’s Operations Manager Claire Dearing were informed of these plans by Hoskins directly, who assumed they would come to see his argument. He had already gained the support of Dr. Wu by promising him funding, which was provided by a wealthy benefactor. Dearing and Grady remained opposed to Hoskins, who did not survive the incident. Simon Masrani also died while attempting to get the situation under control himself. Jurassic World was permanently closed due to bad publicity, and Dr. Wu went into hiding with his benefactor. Masrani Global Corporation fell into disarray and many InGen employees lost their jobs.
2015-2017: Claire Dearing’s philosophical awakening
Having first come to Jurassic World as an intern after her college freshman year, Claire Dearing’s plan had not originally been business at all. She studied political science in college, intending to become a U.S. senator and thereby support and expand animal rights laws. Simon Masrani was impressed by her problem analysis skills and dedication to a job well done, hiring her after the internship ended. She had already proven her devotion to animal welfare, having worked with other interns to develop a behavioral program for a problematic Brachiosaurus named Pearl whose play behaviors had caused damage to park technology. As a full-time park employee, Dearing could further her mission, greatly advancing animal welfare at Jurassic World. She was promoted to Assets Manager in 2007, which distanced her from the park animals; by 2015, she had gained further responsibilities as Operations Manager and seldom saw the animals at all. Due to this, Dearing lost sight of her original goals, becoming consumed by park operations.
The 2015 incident was a rude reawakening for Dearing, as she witnessed firsthand the harm that could come to animals through negligence. By failing to enforce oversight of Dr. Wu’s research, InGen had permitted its once-celebrated genetic biologist to create a new form of life for exploitative purposes. Keeping it secretive ensured that its needs could not be provided for, nor could its behaviors be predicted. This lack of knowledge led to its escape via multiple coincident lapses in security protocol, which could have been avoided if Dr. Wu and his projects were more closely monitored. Worst of all, Dearing had gone along with Simon Masrani and the Board in authorizing Wu to create the Indominus, and she felt guilt and sorrow at the resulting carnage. Multiple animals lost their lives to the escaped creature, as did numerous Masrani Global employees. It became Dearing’s objective to ensure such a disaster could not be repeated.
Her first move in protecting de-extinct life was to publicly address the incident and demand accountability for the true guilty party. Public outrage surrounded the dinosaurs, with many people blaming them for what had happened. This was largely due to a heavily-publicized attack on Main Street in Jurassic World by a large group of Pteranodons and Dimorphodons, which had been accidentally released during the helicopter crash that killed Simon Masrani. At a public testimonial in late December 2015, she openly declared Dr. Wu and InGen Security the guilty parties, imploring the public to focus its anger on them and their unethical practices. During this trial, InGen and Henry Wu came under investigation for bioethical misconduct; however, as Dr. Wu was nowhere to be found, he could not represent himself. A paper trail led to the discovery of corruption between Masrani Global and the U.S. government related to the watering-down of the Gene Guard Act, and an anonymous hacktivist uncovered proof of illegal violations of the Act in the late 1990s. Due to these revelations, several Masrani Global employees related to the crimes were arrested, making this Dearing’s first real success as an activist.
Three months later, Congress opened up an official investigation into bioethical misconduct as begun in the 2015 testimonial, and separately opened an investigation into violations of the Gene Guard Act. This time, some members of Masrani Global came forward as whistleblowers like Dearing, revealing corruption within the company. Henry Wu was found guilty, stripped of his PhD credentials, and all of his former laboratory sites were raided by the U.S. government. Assets were seized and held in government custody.
Sadly, this was one of the last major successes that Dearing would have. 2016 was an election year in the United States, and the political pendulum was set to swing far to the right. In short order, the new president established aggressive anti-environmental policies and encouraged unfettered capitalism; he was even known to personally oppose (or possibly deny) the existence of de-extinct life. Dearing had lost any support the American government might have provided, and the rest of the world was following suit.
Hundreds of miles away, tectonic activity shifted the Cocos Plate, where Isla Nublar was located. Beneath the island, high-pressure magma chambers were reconnected with the long-dormant stratovolcano Mount Sibo, providing this molten slush with a means to the surface. For now, the lava rock plug in the volcano held strong, but temperatures on the island were already increasing. The Costa Rican Institute for Volcanology (CRIV) determined that there was no immediate threat of eruption, though plants and other organic matter near Mount Sibo had been seen spontaneously catching fire. Slowly but surely, a kind of geological fever was consuming the island.
2017: The DPG is founded
In March 2017, Claire Dearing moved to San Francisco, California and rented a large office space in the Mission District. Here she established the Dinosaur Protection Group, a non-governmental nonprofit organization she could use to lobby the government to provide care for the abandoned dinosaurs. Mount Sibo had showed minor signs of activity in February due to the earthquake, but the CRIV had assured the public no eruption was imminent. For now, Dearing’s main objective was to get a team of paleoveterinarians to Isla Nublar to assess the animals’ status and provide medical care if necessary. The team would not be a permanent presence on the island, but would come and go on a regular basis to ensure the animals could live out their lives with minimal interference, the DPG providing funding for this aid.
Unfortunately, acquiring that funding was virtually impossible. Although a large number of citizens did support the DPG’s mission, there were no larger wealthy donors. Dearing organized efforts to publicize the cause, and she was now joined by a growing team of volunteers. Two of the most prominent were Zia Rodriguez, an aspiring paleoveterinarian whose career had been cut short by the 2015 incident, and Franklin Webb, a former Masrani Global IT worker from the company’s server complex in Irvine, California. Rodriguez lent her confidence and expertise to Dearing’s outreach efforts, and the more introverted Webb brought her mission into the digital realm. These two volunteers were not just valued allies; they became Dearing’s closest friends.
Protests were organized across the United States outside of government buildings and Masrani Global offices. Although Dearing had been a valuable employee to Masrani Global, the death of Simon Masrani had drastically changed company politics. No longer a champion for animal rights and environmental sustainability, the company focused its efforts entirely on rebuilding trust with its investors and consumers. The Jurassic World incident had tarnished its name, and the new management had decided the best way to respond was to cut all visible ties with de-extinction. They cited high costs as a justification for taking no action with Isla Nublar, but Dearing and the DPG did not accept this excuse.
The Isla Nublar situation became dire that September. A helicopter piloted by illegal ecotourists flew over the island’s north, noting activity near Mount Sibo. A closer inspection revealed a minor eruption taking place, with lava actively rupturing from the mountain peak at several locations. The tourists reported this sighting, and the CRIV observed the island’s geology in greater detail. This time, they discovered the pressurized magma chambers beneath Mount Sibo. These had not yet breached the volcano’s chimney, but were pushing up on the island from underneath. When the magma chambers were breached, an incredible explosive eruption would take place. Simulations suggested the whole island would burn. The CRIV estimated that the eruption would take place no later than 2018, with projections estimating June 22.
Learning of this spurred the DPG to increase its efforts. Its sister group, the Defend Isla Nublar Organization (DINO), took over many of the public demonstrations while Dearing and her DPG leaders continued lobbying to the American government against stalwart opposition. By December 8, the DPG website and social media channels were live, allowing Dearing a way to communicate to her supporters. On December 21, she sent a mass email to all of the DPG’s subscribers to thank them for their support. By that time, she had gained the endorsement of the Costa Rican Department of Biological Preserves, the only governmental body to officially support the DPG. They, along with local lifeguards, volunteered to participate in a rescue mission to Isla Nublar should one be funded. The DPG’s goal was no longer to just provide care to Isla Nublar’s animals. It was now to save the dinosaurs from extinction by finding them a new home.
2018: The rescue mission
Relocating the dinosaurs would be a far larger operation than just providing them medical care, and this was compounded by other problems that arose early in 2018. Not the least of these was the fact that Costa Rica withdrew scientific research equipment from Isla Nublar as the volcanic activity increased. With the remote island lacking any human population and with no major shipping routes nearby, the eruption posed no threat to civilization, so the government saw no justification for the cost of monitoring it. The second major issue was finding the dinosaurs a safe haven. Masrani Global still offered no help, claiming that they lacked resources. This meant that Isla Sorna and the rest of the Muertes Archipelago were not options. The DPG informally announced that it was severing ties with Masrani Global using the social media hashtag #MakeMasraniExtinct.
Not to be deterred, the DPG expanded its outreach and lobbying efforts, hoping that some authority would eventually come to aid them and provide the dinosaurs with a place to live. Like with many larger-scale environmental movements, much of the DPG’s outreach focused on children. Dearing, Rodriguez, and Webb came to speak at grade schools, engaging young children in projects and educating them about dinosaurs, extinction, and animal rights. The hope was that the children would pass the DPG’s messages on to their parents and pressure them into supporting the mission, either financially or through calling their government representatives.
On February 4, the first major update to the website was made, introducing content regarding the DPG’s mission, practices, and values. Dearing introduced herself, and Rodriguez wrote up a report on the history of bioethical issues in de-extinction. This brought to light the complicated political background of de-extinction, but reinforced that the animals had been created for better or worse and it was now their creators’ responsibility to care for them. They also added quotes from other supporters, including people who had seen dinosaurs firsthand and wanted them kept safe. In addition to updating the DPG site, Webb hacked the abandoned Jurassic World website and vandalized it, rendering numerous sections inaccessible and overriding most of the website content with DPG propaganda. By this time, some species had already slipped into extinction, and all the rest were critically endangered. Population numbers were falling by the day as conditions worsened. On the DPG site, Webb reported on the effects Mount Sibo was having on the ecosystem, and installed a live feed from the CRIV monitoring equipment left on the island which would continuously show activity within the volcano.
By February 8, the DPG fully moved into their Mission District headquarters, the number of volunteers now having reached thirty. With the headquarters fully functional and their social media channels prepared to share content, they were now well-equipped for digital outreach. On February 23, Rodriguez wrote up their first major report, a history of bioethical issues surrounding de-extinction with a focus on how the Gene Guard Act was rendered useless. She also discussed at length the violations of the Gene Guard Act that InGen had committed, bringing this crime back into the spotlight as a prime example of ethical negligence.
The DPG received some unexpected support that March. A writer for the National Science Observer published an article in favor of Dearing on March 5, charting her transformation into an animal rights activist after the events of 2015. The DPG shared this article on their website. It established Dearing as more than a political figure: highlighting her personal journey and what the mission meant to her as an individual added a layer of emotional appeal to the DPG’s aims. The ethics and morality of the mission was now grounded in a way that more people could understand. On March 21, Rodriguez and Webb formally introduced themselves in greater detail to their supporters.
A few days later on March 26, DPG volunteer Juliette C. published a report on Masrani Global’s culpability in the ethical crisis unfolding on Isla Nublar. While she recalled Simon Masrani as a champion of animal rights, she did not hold back on describing the corporation’s new leadership as a far cry from their deceased CEO. With the company still struggling to win back shareholders and start making a profit again, the DPG was well aware they would not help, and this article was not a plea for help from Masrani Global: it was a condemnation, meant to assure the public that no assistance was coming from the corporate sector. Some people had complained about the DPG activism, insisting that Isla Nublar was a private Masrani Global matter; this report made it clear that the corporation had no intent of cleaning up its mess.
Mount Sibo continued to wreak havoc on Isla Nublar’s ecosystem. On May 15, the DPG opened a new section of its website where supporters could symbolically adopt one of the island’s creatures and share the certificate on social media. This encouraged people to support the rescue mission: they would be given regular updates about the health of the dinosaur they had adopted, making the rescue more personal. The “Adopt a Dinosaur” page became popular, boosting the DPG’s social media engagement. As it became clearer and clearer that an eruption was going to take place soon, boosting visibility became critical.
June saw a flurry of activity from the DPG, beginning on the first of the month with a new report penned by Rodriguez entitled “The Importance of Paleo-Vets.” Here she delved into greater detail about the DPG’s original mission, which had been to provide veterinary care to the Isla Nublar dinosaurs that were now living in the wild. This was still a long-term goal for the group, and when the animals were introduced to a new habitat, they would get the best care the DPG could pull in funding for. Rodriguez, as the group’s only paleoveterinarian, would head this objective. On the fifth of the month, DPG writer Klayton S. published a report establishing that the carnivorous dinosaurs needed rescuing as well. This was in response to controversial suggestions that the activists should rescue only the herbivorous dinosaurs, under the assumption that herbivores are not dangerous. Compounding the argument was the infamous pterosaur attack on Main Street of 2015, which had injured scores of people and even caused deaths. Klayton cleared up misinformation regarding animal behavior in one of the DPG’s more apologetic reports; the pterosaurs had exhibited abnormally high aggression because of their insufficient living conditions in the park, and mass feeding frenzies of the kind witnessed in 2015 would be quite rare under natural conditions. Carnivores, the DPG argued, are essential components of the food web and apex predators in particular keep the ecosystem in balance. The following day, the website opened a kids’ page, hoping to again capitalize on children’s interest in dinosaurs and their ability to relay messages to their parents.
However, the DPG now faced greater opposition. The anti-GMO advocacy group Extinction Now! created its own website and social media on June 9, having refocused its objectives from stopping genetic engineering to specifically advocating that de-extinct species become re-extinct as soon as possible. This immediately followed the DPG publishing a video on social media debunking some common arguments against de-extinct animal rights, and was almost certainly a response to that video. This led to an open confrontation between the DPG and Extinction Now! social media accounts, the only time that the DPG made an exception to its non-interaction social media policy.
Efforts continued throughout the month to clear up misunderstandings and inform the public. On June 11, the twenty-fifth anniversary of the 1993 Isla Nublar incident, the DPG’s writer Ross S. wrote an article explicitly describing some of the long-obscured events that transpired on that day. The public had never heard the name Dennis Nedry before, and had little knowledge of the truth of the 1993 incident; InGen had done a thorough job of covering most of it up. Dearing, however, had insider information. Higher-ups at Masrani Global knew the truth, but were discouraged from spreading it. Lower-ranking employees, including most of InGen, and the general public only knew that Jurassic Park had failed while its existence was still secret, and that there had been casualties. The idea had been to use the Park’s mysterious past as a means of increasing its appeal. With Jurassic World closed, there was no more reason to keep secrets. Demystifying Jurassic Park was a major step forward in getting the public to acknowledge reality.
June 18 saw the DPG’s last public report. It was written by Emma E., and described the ecological effects Mount Sibo was having on the island. It was no secret that the DPG’s mission was not going well. Outreach efforts and lobbying were still ongoing, but few governmental officials had swayed to their side. They had not even found a safe haven for the dinosaurs to inhabit. According to the Phillane Institute of Volcanology, the eruption was likely to take place in as little as two days, and no later than two months. Time was up, and the Senate would announce its decision on June 22. The DPG waited, hoping for the best, but expecting the worst.
The worst did indeed come to pass. With encouragement from famed Jurassic Park exposer Dr. Ian Malcolm, the Senate and by extent the U.S. federal government officially declared that they would not interfere with the ongoing re-extinction of the dinosaurs. They declared that Isla Nublar was not within U.S. jurisdiction, and as Jurassic World was a private venture on an island leased from Costa Rica, it fell squarely on Masrani Global Corporation to take any action. By now, it was well known that Masrani Global wanted little to do with InGen at all. Dearing and the DPG fully understood that the government’s decision was not made on the grounds of Jurassic World being privately-owned, but out of a desire to avoid accountability for the consequences of de-extinction. The volcanic eruption was ruled an act of God, a fortuitous natural event that could not be controlled. By the end of the year, the animals would be dead.
Minutes after this announcement, which was televised at around 8:00am Eastern Time, Dearing was contacted by one of Jurassic World’s beneficiaries: Sir Benjamin Lockwood, the once-estranged business partner of John Hammond and founder of the Lockwood Foundation. He summoned Dearing to his estate near Orick, California to have his aide Eli Mills help him explain that he had an alternate plan, formulated in case the U.S. government and Masrani Global took the easy way out. Using his private cargo ship the S.S. Arcadia, he planned to capture and relocate as many of the animals as possible to the uninhabited Sanctuary Island, which he also owned. Here he would allow the dinosaurs to live in safety, free from interference, the way Hammond had once wanted for Isla Sorna. Dearing was tasked with recruiting Owen Grady, since the former I.B.R.I.S. trainer was the only person who could successfully track the last surviving Velociraptor on the island. She announced this development in a blog post on the DPG website, though details were understandably scarce. Dearing assembled a team consisting of herself, Rodriguez, Webb, and Grady, and they departed on a private airplane at first light the following morning.
On Isla Nublar, they discovered that Mills’s lead hunter Ken Wheatley had already captured most of the dinosaurs they were looking for, with the Velociraptor named Blue being their last remaining major target. Using Dearing’s handprint biosignature, they determined Blue’s location, and Grady went to track the animal. Dearing and Webb remained behind to monitor the situation. The entire operation was soon revealed to be a ruse: as soon as Blue was found, she was subdued by the hunters, and seriously wounded in the process. Wheatley attempted to kill Grady, and only Rodriguez’s quick actions saved Grady’s life. Wheatley took Rodriguez hostage, relying on her expertise to mend Blue, while Dearing and Webb were abandoned in a radio bunker. They managed to escape via an emergency hatch as Mount Sibo’s magma chamber was finally breached. Reuniting with Grady, the DPG’s leaders all made it off Isla Nublar on the Arcadia as the island burned.
While some of the dinosaurs had been spared death by scalding suffocation, the fates of those survivors were now up in the air. Over the course of June 23 and 24, the DPG leaders saved Blue by performing the first-ever xenotransfusion between de-extinct animals, and determined that while most of the dinosaurs were meant to be sold on the black market there were other plans for the raptor. The ship docked at Orick, and the dinosaurs were transported to the Lockwood estate. Dearing belived that Lockwood himself was innocent, learning that Mills had betrayed his employer in order to add to the fortune he would one day inherit. Grady and Dearing were captured by Wheatley and left for dead in the laboratory sub-basement alongside the dinosaurs, while Webb and Rodriguez found themselves a floor above. They were conscripted into the service of Henry Wu, who had been hiding out with Mills, his secretive benefactor on the Indominus project.
Dearing and Grady managed to escape captivity and disrupt the auction taking place above, discovering that Wu had engineered a descendant of the Indominus called the Indoraptor. Meanwhile, Rodriguez and Webb learned that Wu’s plans for Blue were also related to his genetic engineering projects; Blue was to be a surrogate mother and a gene donor for his next generation of creatures. Grady managed to stop the Indoraptor prototype from falling into the hands of Russian gangster Anton Orlov, but they were too late to save several other dinosaurs, which had been sold off and driven to locations unknown. In the chaos, the prototype escaped captivity and attacked several auction guests and mansion security staff. Meanwhile, Rodriguez, Webb, and Blue overpowered Wu and his guards, with the laboratory being destroyed in a firefight. Hydrogen cyanide leaked from one of the damaged tanks, threatening to poison the dinosaurs still in the lab’s lowest level. Webb worked to start the ventilation system, but it was too damaged to function.
Above, Grady and Dearing outwitted the Indoraptor with timely intervention from Blue. In the process they befriended Lockwood’s granddaughter Maisie; they learned from her that Lockwood was dead, and from Mills that Maisie was a product of the very thing that had driven Lockwood and Hammond apart: human cloning. In spite of all these dramatic reveals, there was a greater issue occurring, and one that would prove the ultimate test of the Dinosaur Protection Group’s mission.
All three of the DPG’s members, now plus Owen Grady and Maisie Lockwood, reconvened in the laboratory where the dinosaurs were beginning to face exposure to the fatal hydrogen cyanide. This gas kills after mere minutes of inhalation, and some of the dinosaurs were already starting to breathe it. There was no way to vent the gas out of the mansion, but the dinosaurs could be released. The DPG and Grady deferred to Dearing, as this had been her mission all along. She now had the means to save the dinosaurs, but doing so would irreversibly send them not into a protected sanctuary, but into the wild for real. No longer would she be able to monitor them, ensure their safety, and prevent them from having dangerous interactions with humans. She would be truly relenquishing control. Ultimately, tearfully, Dearing made the decision to let the dinosaurs die.
Maisie Lockwood overrode this decision and released the dinosaurs into the wild, saving their lives. The DPG had relied on children to be advocates when adults failed to act, and now that had come to fruition. Now, the discussion about de-extinction was irrevocably changed. No longer was the argument whether to save the animals or let them die; that decision was made. The world was now left to cope with this change, to determine how society should evolve.
2018-present: Reduced activity
The Dinosaur Protection Group website has remained untouched since June 22, though it maintains the live feed of Mount Sibo’s harmonic tremor readings from the CRIV and has renewed its web license (unlike Extinction Now!, which has allowed their license to expire; the website no longer exists). Dearing and Grady made themselves scarce, protecting not only themselves but Maisie, whose existence constitutes a violation of California cloning law. While the Dinosaur Protection Group has not officially disbanded, its leaders have all taken a step back from the spotlight, leaving the other volunteers rudderless.
This is not to say that de-extinct animal rights is no longer a political issue. Protests in favor of dinosaur rights continued later into 2018, and Dr. Malcolm was almost immediately summoned a second time to speak to Congress about what to do next. He did not, as some had expected, advocate for the intentional killing of the dinosaurs: a natural disaster was one thing, but systematic extermination was wholly another. Interactions between humans and de-extinct life have been reported in the ensuing years, and each time the controversy is reignited. As of early 2019, dinosaurs have been confirmed to have bred on North American soil. Their presence, it seems, is here to stay.
The Dinosaur Protection Group was founded by Claire Dearing, who functions as its executive leader. All major decisions are run through her, and she makes all calls on the group’s outreach and lobbying operations as well as its objectives. The DPG’s mission statement is her own. She is the organization’s public face, managing most of the public speaking and inter-organizational partnerships (such as those with the Phillane Institute of Volcanology, the Costa Rican Institute for Volcanology, the Defend Isla Nublar Organization, and the Costa Rican Department of Biological Preserves). Since Dearing has become difficult to find after relocating dinosaurs off Isla Nublar and adopting an illegal human clone, it is unknown whether one of the other DPG members has assumed her role.
Zia Rodriguez was a paleoveterinary student before the closure of Jurassic World during the winter of 2015 ensured she would never finish her degree. She was one of the first volunteers for the DPG and quickly became one of its most important members. With a strong sense of morality and self-confidence gained from her military background, Rodriguez makes an effective team leader and is extremely useful in outreach. She is especially handy in cases where the DPG’s mission is brought directly under attack, such as by Extinction Now! and opposing politicians. Had the rescue mission gone as planned, her medical expertise would have been called upon to lead a team of paleoveterinarians to the dinosaurs’ new habitat and tend to their health in the field. Though this never happened, Rodriguez was instrumental in explaining to the public how important medicine would be in caring for the animals. She did participate in some of the DPG’s lobbying efforts, but her personality was not really suited to this.
Franklin Webb was another of the first volunteers to join the DPG, which he originally did with the encouragement of his father (who belived working for a nonprofit NGO would be good experience). He had formerly been a Masrani Global employee for Jurassic World like Dearing, though he worked at an offsite tech complex in Irvine, California rather than on Isla Nublar itself. Webb became the systems analyst for the DPG, and since he had more technical expertise than its other volunteers, he became the third team leader. He ensured that the DPG’s website and social media were functional and secure, and that their hardware was up to the task as well. While Webb is introverted and anxious, he is adept online, and was behind most of the DPG’s digital outreach, creating videos and animations to demonstrate the mission. He is also an accomplished hacker, vandalizing the abandoned Jurassic World website to direct people to the DPG. It may have been Webb who obtained classified photos from InGen files to use on the DPG site. His knowledge of Jurassic World’s computer systems was also essential during the rescue mission, as it enabled the DPG to reactivate park technology and use it to locate animals.
A team of thirty volunteers made up the DPG, though most of their names are not known. Named volunteers include several report writers: Juliette C., Klayton S., Ross S., and Emma E. Tasks performed by the volunteers mainly consist of calling senators and representatives, among other government figures both local and national, to convince them to support the DPG’s mission. They organize protests and marches, such as the planned DINO march on Capitol Hill which would have taken place in September 2018 (since Mount Sibo had erupted by that time, it is unknown if it still took place). Formerly, volunteers had also pressured Masrani Global Corporation to take action, but these demands were met with outright refusal.
Other responsibilities of the volunteers include writing reports (this was done by the named volunteers above), creating digital art including logos and infographics, fundraising, participating in outreach advocacy programs, and performing maintenance in the headquarters. Since the events of June 2018, it is unclear how many DPG volunteers are still active.
A few people are considered members of the DPG though they do not hold membership. Foremost is Owen Grady, a former animal trainer in both the U.S. Navy and InGen Security who was instrumental in the I.B.R.I.S. program. He was recruited on June 22, 2018 for the supposed rescue mission in order to ensure that the last remaining Velociraptor on the island, Blue, could be captured. Benjamin Lockwood provided all of the funds and resources for this mission and fully stood behind it, though he never made any public gestures before this. His granddaughter, Maisie Lockwood, also completely supported the DPG’s mission at the tender age of nine; it was she who ultimately made the final executive decision to prevent the dinosaurs’ extinction when Dearing determined it was too risky to do so. Maisie led a deeply sheltered existence prior to those events, but had certainly heard of the DPG from her grandfather. She represents the soul of this organization better than most, truly believing in de-extinct animal rights no matter how complicated it gets.
Not everyone can be present at the Mission District headquarters. Most of the people who support the DPG, including its over eight thousand Twitter followers, are ordinary people around the world who believe in its cause. Some hold more prominent positions, such as a writer for the National Science Observer who wrote a March 2018 piece painting Claire Dearing in a positive light. Others are simply ordinary people: notable supporters include Arjan H., a paleontological student who frequented Jurassic World; Kazden L., a member of the San Diego Fire Department who witnessed the 1997 incident; Rebecca Z., an online journalist; Max, a young boy who had visited Jurassic World shortly before it closed; and Luke T., a shared ride driver who criticized Masrani Global. These were all supporters who provided their voices for the DPG’s website, but thousands of others helped in other ways, whether it was through charitable donations, fighting misinformation, or sharing posts on social media. When a rescue mission to Isla Nublar was proposed, members of the Costa Rican Department of Biological Preserves volunteered to help (as did numerous local lifeguards), despite the Costa Rican government’s overall avoidance of the issue. In the United States, some elected officials such as Congresswoman Delgado agreed to provide support against a government that strongly opposed the mission.
While the DPG has gone inactive following the incidents of June 2018, its supporters remain, and the philosophy it stands for has not died down. Organizations such as DINO were not directly managed by Claire Dearing and so may still be active in the United States and abroad. Finally, many supporters might not be official members of any organization at all, but simply ordinary people who believe all life has a right to go on living.