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Indian Scientists Clone Near-Extinct Wild Buffalo
Jan 22, 2015

Scientists at the National Dairy Research Institute (NDRI), Karnal successfully cloned a critically endangered wild buffalo found in Chhattisgarh. It is to be noted here that Udanti Wildlife Sanctuary in Chhattisgarh is left with a lone female wild buffalo named as Asha had delivered male calves during several natural-mating.

A joint survey of forest department and WTI revealed that only six wild buffaloes with one female buffalo were left in Udanti. However, in 2001 about 30 wild buffalos were sighted in the same region and decline of population indicated that the animal was facing speedy extinction.

  • NDRI scientists conducted a biopsy on its ear tissue and took it to a laboratory at Karnal for cell proliferation.

  • The cells were used for the cloning process using an indigenously developed hand-guided technique.

  • The calf, named Deepasha by the scientists, had a normal birth weight of 32 kilograms, is healthy and active.

  • NDRI has the necessary expertise and infrastructure to multiply this endangered species.

  • The Asiatic wild water buffalo is restricted to South and Southeast Asia.

  • The species is critically endangered due to high anthropogenic pressure ranging from habitat deterioration to hybridization with domestic buffaloes.

  • The cloning was carried out at the request of the Chhattisgarh government.

  • The calf will be handed over to the Chhattisgarh wildlife authorities for releasing into wild after a particular age.

  • Taking extra precaution for first of its kind cloning of wild buffalo, birth of this female calf is success after transplantation of wild buffalo's embryo to 27 domestic buffaloes.

  • After genetic test, 'Deepsha' has now been declared 100 percent wild buffalo.

  • NDRI had recently cloned the famous high-yielding Murrah bull variety—the world's first such.

  • NDRI has developed reasonably good facilities in buffalo reproduction with a dedicated team of scientists who specialize in production of stem cells, in vitro embryo production and transgenesis.


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