On Thursday, February 18, American scientists showed the world Elizabeth Ann – a black-footed coward who had been cloned. As scientists say, this is a bold step forward. They believe it will help the cowards survive and will give hope to save other endangered species.
Black-footed ferret: a species extinct in the wild
The black-footed ferret inhabited North America, but in the 1960s it was considered an endangered species, and in 1996 it was entered in the book as a species extinct in the wild. The tragic situation of these animals was caused, inter alia, by the shooting of prairie dogs, which are an important part of the diet of black-footed cowards.
Scientists, however, decided to fight for this species. National Geographic reports that in 2006 the black-footed coward was rebuilt to 226 individuals, while in February 2021 a historic moment came – the black-footed coward was successfully cloned. The animal thus became the first ever cloned representative of an endangered species in the United States.
A cloned black-footed coward. The DNA of an animal that has been dead for 30 years was used
American scientists managed to clone the black-footed ferret using the animal’s DNA, which had been frozen since 1988. Elizabeth Ann was born on December 10, the US Fish and Wildlife Service announced on Thursday. The animal will not enjoy freedom, however, because scientists will not let it go. Elizabeth Ann will live in a special facility in Colorado where she will be tested, according to the BBC.
ViaGen Pets & Equine undertook the first cloning of the endangered species in the United States. The same one that cloned a Mongolian wild horse at risk of extinction a year ago.
The cowards were vaccinated against Covid-19 so they wouldn’t share the fate of the mink
Although this research is preliminary, it is the first cloning of a native North American endangered species and is a promising tool for further conservation efforts.
said Noreen Walsh, director of USFW.
Due to the threat of extinction, 120 of them received the COVID-19 vaccine in the summer of 2020. The decision to administer the vaccine was made after tens of thousands of minks, i.e. close relatives of the cowards, died after being infected with the coronavirus. Millions of mink have been shot in Europe to prevent the spread of the virus.
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