Scientists clone black-footed ferret, first for endangered US species

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The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) on Thursday announced that it had successfully cloned a black-footed ferret, the first cloning of a U.S. endangered species.


The agency revealed the breakthrough in a press release, writing that its cloned ferret, named “Elizabeth Ann,” was born Dec. 10 and has been raised at the service’s black-footed ferret breeding facility in Fort Collins, Colo.


The ferret was made from frozen DNA extracted from “Willa,” a black-footed ferret who died in 1988.


Noreen Walsh, director of the USFWS's Mountain-Prairie Region, said in a statement that while the research is preliminary, the cloning marked the first of “a native endangered species in North America, and it provides a promising tool for continued efforts to conserve the black-footed ferret.”


“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,” Walsh said, adding that “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.”



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Very interesting and cool. 


That being said, I'm with George Carlin on this one,leave nature alone. Animals have become extinct well before man was a stain on a sheet. It's a good thing we weren't around to save the dinosaurs. 😃 


Disclaimer: I'm not saying that poaching is ok or any other wanton killing of animals for profit. Curbing those kinds of things with regulation is fine and doesn't apply to my latter statement.

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Note that the black footed ferret/polecat is indigenous to North America and not the domesticated ferret, which have been kept as pets and for hunting for 2,500 - 3,000  years. 


My cousin has a domesticated ferret and it's a total hoot. Very friendly, to a fault 🤪

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