This foal, Kurt, is a clone whose DNA was cryogenically frozen 40 years ago — and he’s poised to add a much-needed dose of genetic diversity to his species’ tiny population.
Conservationists at ViaGen Equine and other animal organizations are happy about Kurt’s birth because it may bring genetic variety to the beleaguered species.
Kurt is a clone of Kuporovic, a stallion that died in 1998 but whose DNA was saved. The world’s sole wild horse species, the Przewalski, is facing extinction as a result of habitat loss.
Kurt’s birth is noteworthy because Kuporovic was a great candidate for cloning because to the important mutations in his DNA.
Kurt’s genetic makeup might be carried down to the following generation, ensuring the Przewalski horse’s continued existence.
Kurt’s birthday is significant in the battle against animal extinction because there are currently just 2,000 Przewalski horses remaining.
Kurt will grow up and join the San Diego Zoo Safari Park breeding group. Kurt’s cloning demonstrates the amazing possibilities of technology in attempts to save species.
As the only truly wild breed of horse in the world, protecting and conserving the Przewalkski’s horse is paramount. The dun-colored horses are cousins to the zebra and used to live freely throughout Europe and Asia. As their natural habitat shrunk, so did their population. They were once thought to be extinct in the wild, but important efforts by conservationists have reintroduced small groups to their native Mongolian habitat.