Watch: Could this cloned ferret help restore the species?

The reintroduction of black-footed ferrets (Mustela nigripes) was already astonishing. The species was considered extinct before a dog famously found one in the wild. Now, another groundbreaking ferret is bringing new hope for restoring the species. Known as Elizabeth Ann, the 14-month old female is the first cloned ferret. Biologists at the National Black-footed Ferret Conservation Center in Fort Collins, Colorado, hope to breed her this year in hopes of injecting new genes into the captive population. But Elizabeth Ann isn’t 100% black-footed ferret. The cloning technique used a domestic ferret as a surrogate mother. Scientists hope one day to breed her male offspring with a captive black-footed ferret female to reduce the domestic genes in future generations.

Watch the video from Science below.

Header Image: Elizabeth Ann is the first cloned black-footed ferret and first-ever cloned U.S. endangered species.
Credit: National Black-footed Ferret Conservation Center