Account Login/Registration

Access VernonNow using your Facebook account, or by entering your information below.




Privacy Policy

Scientists successfully clone endangered black-footed ferret

A group of scientists have done the unthinkable and have successfully created the world's first cloned black-footed ferret.

According to the San Diego Zoo, the animal was created using DNA from another ferret that died over 30 years ago. "Elizabeth Ann" was born on Dec. 10, 2020, thanks to the frozen cells of "Willa."

The groundbreaking effort to help recover this endangered species resulted from a partnership between the US Fish and Wildlife Service, species recovery partners and scientists at Revive and Restore, ViaGen Pets and Equine, Sand Diego Zoo Global and the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

“Although this research is preliminary, it is the first cloning of a native endangered species in North America, and it provides a promising tool for continued efforts to conserve the black-footed ferret," said Noreen Walsh, the Director of Service's Mountain-Prairie Region.

"Maintaining and increasing wild populations and suitable habitat continues to be essential for black-footed ferret recovery and will remain a priority for the Service. Successful genetic cloning does not diminish the importance of addressing habitat-based threats to the species or the Service’s focus on addressing habitat conservation and management to recover black-footed ferrets.”

As of today, all black-footed ferrets in the wild are descended from seven individuals, resulting in challenging genetic challenges in recovering the species. Cloning is looked at as a possible way to re-establish their population.

Once thought to be completely extinct, the animals were brought back from nearly vanishing forever by the service after a Wyoming rancher discovered a small population on his land in 1981. Ferrets from this population were captured and began a captive breeding program to recover the species.

Despite the amazing accomplishment, some are comparing the cloning to "Jurassic Park."

Visit our Facebook page to comment on this story.

Sign up for local eNews delivered to your inbox by 7 am every day.

Send your comments, news tips, letter to the editor, photos and videos to [email protected].

To report a typo, send an email to [email protected].







Top Stories

Follow Us

Follow us on Instagram Follow us on Twitter Like us on Facebook