We all are aware of one rule of life — what’s dead can never be alive again. However, researchers from the US have managed to bring an extinct animal species back to life, using cloning.
The species in question here is black footed ferret . Researchers from the US Fish & Wildlife Service, ViaGen, Revive & Restore, Pets and Equine, the Association of Zoos & Aquariums & San Diego Zoo Global, have successfully cloned the creature to preserve the species .
This was the 1st effort within the U.S. to clone an endangered-species to assist it survive, although an equivalent has-been done in nations across the world.
The species, which was the sole species of ferret native to North America, was believed to have-gone extinct in 1980s. Their existence was affected because the prairie dogs population dropped as humans increased farming & ranching in those regions, making it difficult for the ferrets to survive.
In 1981, however, one rancher found alittle population of black-footed ferrets on his property. Environmentalists then captured the ferrets & moved them to a secure location — perfect for his or her care & breeding.
Today only 650 are alive in two of such safe locations. Sadly, only seven of original ferrets were ready to reproduce and therefore the entire population are direct descendants of this group & lack critical diversity that’s needed for survival of the species.
However, recently, scientists got access to a frozen tissue of another black footed-ferret , courtesy of San Diego Zoo and were ready to create its clone — Elizabeth Ann — a wild female black footed-ferret that had been christened Willa who passed in mid-1980s.
They used a way almost like the one that was wont to bring Dolly the ship back to life in 1996. They used domestic ferrets for the donor egg & surrogate mother .
The cloning project commenced in 2013 & had progressed slowly since then. The cloned baby finally was born in December 2020 at a conservation centre in Colorado.
Ann are going to be raised by staff at the Colorado centre & eventually mated with other surviving black-footed ferrets.
The article re-published here from India Times.