According to a report by the Russian Sputnik News Agency on February 20, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced that American scientists have successfully cloned an endangered animal black-foot ferret for the first time.
This black-footed ferret named Elizabeth Ann was born last December, but the relevant information has not been disclosed until now.
The success of cloning is attributed to the frozen gene of another ferret that died more than 30 years ago.
Two black-footed ferrets were cloned in the course of the experiment, but only one survived.
“Biotechnology and genomic data can play a role in protecting the environment,” said Ben Nowak, chief scientist at Revive & Restore, a nonprofit animal protection organization.
Scientists point out that other species that need to be cloned include Mongolian wild horses and extinct traveling pigeons (also known as drifting doves).
However, scientists worry that the black-foot ferrets cloned next will lack genetic diversity, which will make them vulnerable to various parasites and diseases.
Black-footed ferrets are a kind of ferrets, which can easily be recognized by the black marks around their eyes. They are nocturnal animals.