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Feb 18, 2021

1st clone of U.S. endangered species is ferret created from genes of animal dead for 3 decades

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics

HOW CUTE 🥰 Meet Elizabeth Ann, the first-ever cloned U.S. endangered species. She’s a black-footed ferret duplicated from the genes of an animal that died in 1988.


“You might have been handling a black-footed ferret kit and then they try to take your finger off the next day,” U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service black-footed ferret recovery coordinator Pete Gober said Thursday. “She’s holding her own.”

Elizabeth Ann was born and is being raised at a Fish and Wildlife Service black-footed ferret breeding facility in Fort Collins, Colorado. She’s a genetic copy of a ferret named Willa who died in 1988 and whose remains were frozen in the early days of DNA technology.

Cloning eventually could bring back extinct species such as the passenger pigeon. For now, the technique holds promise for helping endangered species including a Mongolian wild horse that was cloned and last summer born at a Texas facility.

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