[Photos] US Clones Endangered Animal

The United States has successfully cloned an endangered animal.

30 years ago a black-footed ferret died but some of its genetic material was frozen, now that material has been used to clone the ferret.

This effort from the the San Diego Zoo, Revive & Restore, ViaGen Pets, and the Association of Zoos and Aquariums has been a massive success and the cloned ferret named Elizabeth Ann is doing well and in good health. From the Fish and Wildlife Services: 

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) is working alongside recovery partners and scientists at Revive & Restore, ViaGen Pets & Equine, San Diego Zoo Global, and the Association of Zoos and Aquariums to explore solutions to genetic diversity challenges and disease resistance for black-footed ferrets using the latest advancements in genetic research.

The first significant milestone of this ongoing partnership occurred on December 10, 2020, with the birth of “Elizabeth Ann,” created from the frozen cells of “Willa,” a black-footed ferret that lived more than 30 years ago. Today, all black-footed ferrets are descended from seven individuals, resulting in unique genetic challenges to recovering this species. Cloning may help address significant genetic diversity and disease resilience barriers to support habitat conservation and reestablishment of additional populations in the wild. Once thought to be extinct, these efforts follow decades of captive breeding efforts by the Service and partners with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

Here are some photos of Elizabeth Ann, the black-footed ferret:

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