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On August 6, 2020, a clone of the Przewalski’s horse was born! Not only is this a rare event since the species is critically endangered, but this little colt is the first of his type. The Przewalski’s horses are one the last species of a truly wild horse.
The colt, named Kurt, was cloned from a male Przewalski’s horse cryopreserved by the zoo in 1980. This was done in hopes of introducing genetic diversity into the species. Eventually, Kurt will be transferred to the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. At some point, he will also be integrated into a herd and used for breeding.
The Przewalski’s horse calls the grasslands of China and Mongolia home. Once upon a time, the species was extinct in the wild. It was with intensive breeding programs that they were reintroduced to their natural homelands.
The birth of Kurt marks an exciting time for endangered wild species. Cloning allows genetic diversity, which is necessary for the survival of a species. Others like the Sumatran rhino and Wooly Mammoth are also trying to be revived.
What are your thoughts on cloning? Domestic horses, like Prometea a Haflinger filly, have been cloned for a while now.