Birth of a second cloned Arctic wolf, proving that cloning technology is effective for the recovery of endangered species

The first cloned arctic wolf, Maya, appears at Harbin Polarland in northeast China’s Heilongjiang province on September 28, 2022, with the wolf’s surrogate mother, a beagle. Photo: CGV

Three days after Maya, the first cloned Arctic wolf, celebrated her 100th day since birth, the second cloned cub ‘Ha’er’ was born on September 22 at a laboratory of Sinogene Biotechnology Co in Xuzhou, Jiangsu province. (East China), China Direct learned from the company on Wednesday.

This further proves that cloning technology is able to provide strong support to global efforts to protect wildlife and recover endangered species.

Identical to the first, the new cloned cub was carried by its surrogate mother, a beagle, and its donor cell came from a sample of skin from a wild male arctic wolf which also came from Harbin Polarland Wildlife Park located in Heilongjiang. , in northeast China. Province.

The new cloned cub is named after the Harbin Polarland male arctic wolf that was first introduced from Canada as “Ha’er”. Newborn baby Ha’er will also be raised in Harbin Polarland when he grows up for 100 days at the Sinogene facility, Dai Rui, general manager of Harbin Polarland, told China Direct on Wednesday.

With the healthy birth of the two cloned Arctic wolves, the breeding of cloned Arctic wolves will also be on the agenda, Sinogene researchers told China Direct. They hope the cloning technology can be applied to more endangered wildlife species and make a positive contribution to protecting global biodiversity.

Going forward, Ha’er and Maya should have their next generation, Dai said. She also revealed that her animal park and Sinogene have no plans to create the third or fourth cloned arctic wolf at this time, but they will work together to clone other species in the next step. Dai declined to share more information.

Ha’er shares similar physiological indicators with Maya. He weighed 571 grams and was 20 centimeters at birth, while Maya weighed 520 grams and was 22 centimeters long.

Both wolves were sampled at the same time on November 5, 2020, but Ha’er was born three months after Maya. Sinogene researchers told China Direct that due to the difficulties and challenges of implementing cloning technology on Arctic wolves, Maya’s embryo was the first to successfully complete the process. The researchers said there was no gender difference in implementing the cloning technology.

China Direct has learned that Ha’er’s cloning was achieved by constructing 99 new embryos from enucleated oocytes and somatic cells, followed by the transfer of 61 embryos into the wombs of seven beagles, one of which was born in as a healthy Cub.

Meanwhile, the first cloned arctic wolf Maya has been living in the Harbin Polarland for a week now, Dai told China Direct.

Video obtained by China Direct showed that Maya, who was born on June 10 this year, grew very quickly, already taller than her beagle surrogate. They live together in a separate room where they never seem to get tired of playing with each other.

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