Scientists have cloned the first endangered American species, a black-footed ferret cloned from the genes of an animal that died more than 30 years ago.
The slender predator, named Elizabeth Ann, was born in central Colorado on December 10 and was announced Thursday.
Elizabeth Anne A genetic copy of a ferret named Willa died in 1988 and its remains were frozen in the early days of DNA technology.
The problem is that with only 7 copies of this species remaining, they only reproduce between siblings. The goal is to try to add genetic richness to the species.
Viagen, the horse and dog and cat cloning company that accompanies them, cloned the animals.
In a world threatened with biodiversity loss, this technology may seem promising to empower endangered species, such as a cloned Mongolian wild horse that was born at a facility in Texas last summer.
However, for some scientists and conservationists, the reproduction of an endangered or even extinct species presents some ethical problem. In the first place, because it will not solve the problems that caused the species to reach this extreme status.
Since cloning the famous Dolly the sheep, this technique has become relatively popular. One of the main current uses is for the reproduction of domestic animals and pets.
However, applying this technique to wild animals is another matter. This technique is not complex enough and many failures are often encountered before cloning is achieved. Moreover, little is known about the reproductive cycles of these animals.