Cloning Candidates

Which animals represent the best bets for cloning and which ones are't such hot prospects? A British journalist did some digging and came up with this report card on the candidates:

Species Status Cloning potential


Fewer than a thousand remain in their shrinking natural habitat in south west China, with one hundred in zoos. They have sex rarely, dislike breeding in captivity, and are picky eaters.


Chinese scientists have produced cloned panda embryos by inserting a panda cell nucleus into a rabbit egg. US scientists hope to use black bear eggs and surrogate mothers.

Tasmanian tiger


The last known representative of this striped, wolf-like marsupial species died in a zoo in Hobart, Tasmania (Australia) in 1936.


Were it not for the huge effort to bring it back. The New South Wales government has given the Australian Museum in Sydney $1M to do it. But the DNA available for cloning is 134 years old and in bad condition.

Barbary lion


Thought to be the species which devoured Christians in the Roman circus, the last Barbary lion in its natural habitat, north Africa, was killed in Morocco in 1922, but it is thought some may live on in Middle Eastern zoos.


But only if a survivor can be found, or genes can be recovered from hybrids.


Extinct 4,000 years

The existence of this furry elephant is known only from bones, tusks, frozen remains in Siberia, and cave drawings.


Scientists hope to get a crack at injecting an elephant egg with DNA from a frozen mammoth cell, but the DNA is likely to be damaged by its time in the permafrost.


Explore More: Genetic Engineering
Copyright 2004, Iowa Public Television
The Explore More project is supported by funds from the
Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust
and the USDE Star Schools Program.