Scientists have cloned a black-legged ferret – until recently, this animal was considered extinct. This can help save the whole species.
Female black-footed ferret by nickname Elizabeth Ann was born on December 10, 2020. This was reported by the US Fisheries and Wildlife Service.
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American scientists hope that soon the animal will be able to mate and produce offspring
These animals have been considered extinct since 1979. However, in 1981, a Wyoming farmer discovered a small population of black-footed ferrets. This group became the main for the breeding program.
Black-footed ferrets are still threatened with extinction. All existing individuals are carefully protected by scientists.
All ferrets of this species now come from 7 animals, so their offspring often have genetic diseases. Without genetic diversity, animals become more vulnerable to disease and have significant problems surviving in the wild.
The appearance of a cloned female Elizabeth Ann gives the population a chance to: it will be able to diversify the set of genes and give hope for healthy offspring. The female was created from the frozen cells of a ferret that lived 30 years ago.
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This is cloning for American scientists became the first cloning of a local species of endangered animals. However, it is too early to talk about a real revival of the black-footed ferret population.
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