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USA: Birth of cloned horse shines hope on future of endangered equines03:58

USA: Birth of cloned horse shines hope on future of endangered equines

United States, Amarillo
September 15, 2020 at 17:11 GMT -00:00 · Published

A colt named Kurt has become the first ever successfully cloned Przewalski's horse, using genetic material cryopreserved, or frozen, 40 years ago. The Przewalski horse, is an endangered wild horse.

The colt, which was born on August 6 2020, can be seen in at the Timber Creek Veterinary Hospital in Amarillo, Texas, with his mother, and running around in the stables, as recorded on Monday.

Veterinarian at Timber Creek Veterinary Hospital, Gregg Veneklasen, said the cloning was very important in diversifying the gene pool of the Przewalski horse.

"There are 2000 supposedly left and I think there's a bottleneck of genetics when everybody is related to everybody. This is supposedly, and those are for you to ask other people, that he carries genes from the original 12 animals, which would be a nice infusion of brand new genetics," he said.

Blake Russell, President of ViaGen Pets and Equine, also said the cloning of Kurt was the first time the Przewalski and domestic horses had both of their genes combined in this way.

"It's quite a big deal to be able to use a domestic horse egg, use Przewalski's horse DNA and then place that embryo into a domestic horse surrogate which she then ingestated for a normal period of time and then gave birth to healthy Kurt. So it's quite a large project. First time it's ever been done with these two particular species," Russell said.

The last confirmed sighting of a Przewalski's horse in the wild was reportedly in 1969. The remaining horses are bred in captivity and have unfortunately been severely inbred.

USA: Birth of cloned horse shines hope on future of endangered equines03:58
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A colt named Kurt has become the first ever successfully cloned Przewalski's horse, using genetic material cryopreserved, or frozen, 40 years ago. The Przewalski horse, is an endangered wild horse.

The colt, which was born on August 6 2020, can be seen in at the Timber Creek Veterinary Hospital in Amarillo, Texas, with his mother, and running around in the stables, as recorded on Monday.

Veterinarian at Timber Creek Veterinary Hospital, Gregg Veneklasen, said the cloning was very important in diversifying the gene pool of the Przewalski horse.

"There are 2000 supposedly left and I think there's a bottleneck of genetics when everybody is related to everybody. This is supposedly, and those are for you to ask other people, that he carries genes from the original 12 animals, which would be a nice infusion of brand new genetics," he said.

Blake Russell, President of ViaGen Pets and Equine, also said the cloning of Kurt was the first time the Przewalski and domestic horses had both of their genes combined in this way.

"It's quite a big deal to be able to use a domestic horse egg, use Przewalski's horse DNA and then place that embryo into a domestic horse surrogate which she then ingestated for a normal period of time and then gave birth to healthy Kurt. So it's quite a large project. First time it's ever been done with these two particular species," Russell said.

The last confirmed sighting of a Przewalski's horse in the wild was reportedly in 1969. The remaining horses are bred in captivity and have unfortunately been severely inbred.

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