San Diego Zoo scientists clone endangered horse with cells frozen 40 years ago

California
In this file photo, a Przewalski's horse lays on a meadow at the Schorfheide wild animal park in Gross Schoenebeck, eastern Germany, on Sept. 8, 2014. (PATRICK PLEUL/DPA/AFP via Getty Images)

In this file photo, a Przewalski’s horse lays on a meadow at the Schorfheide wild animal park in Gross Schoenebeck, eastern Germany, on Sept. 8, 2014. (PATRICK PLEUL/DPA/AFP via Getty Images)

Kurt looks and acts like any other young horse. He scampers and strides on springy legs, testing their strength. When it’s time to recharge, he nuzzles up to his mother for some nourishing milk.

But Kurt is no ordinary colt. Kurt is a clone.

The 2-month-old is a Przewalski’s horse, a species native to central Asia that went extinct in the wild and is still critically endangered, with only about 2,000 remaining.

Researchers from San Diego Zoo Global, the not-for-profit organization that operates the San Diego Zoo, have high hopes that Kurt can help turn things around for his species. He was cloned from skin cells taken from a stallion in 1980 and safeguarded at the Frozen Zoo, the organization’s repository of 10,000 cell lines from more than 1,100 species and subspecies.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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