For the first time, American scientists successfully cloned a black-footed ferret, according to the website of the US Fish and Wildlife Service.
The cloned endangered species was named Elizabeth Ann. The animal was born in December last year. According to scientists, cloning was carried out with the help of frozen genes of an animal that died more than 30 years ago, said the TV channel “360”.
So, born on December 10, the ferret became a clone of the female Willa, who died in 1988. Her genes ended up in the Zoo Global cryobank in San Diego.
Scientists bred two ferrets, but only one of them was able to survive on his own. A female domestic ferret became a surrogate mother for the cloned animal, and two more puppies appeared in her mantel, who are not relatives of Elizabeth Ann.
Ben Novak, a leading scientist at the nonprofit environmental organization Revive & Restore, said the method could be used to preserve and improve the environment.
Black-footed ferrets have been listed as an endangered species since 1967 due to the decline in their main food – prairie dogs, which were shot by ranchers.