Registering a major achievement in the world of biotechnology, a cloned buffalo, Garima-2 delivered a female calf at the National Dairy Research Institute (NDRI) in Karnal on Friday afternoon. The calf, Mahima, was born through the natural delivery at 1.51 pm.
The scientists claimed the calf as normal which weighed 32 kilograms. Garima-2 too weighed 32 kgs at the time of birth.
Mahima started suckling within half-an-hour of its birth and its mother is also stated to be normal.
NDRI director Dr AK Srivastava told Hindustan Times that it was for the first time in the world that an animal cloned by a “hand-guided technology” delivered a calf.
“It is a major success as our team of dedicated scientists has successfully improved two generations of buffalos. The research will have a far-reaching impact where we could now ensure better quality of milching animals,” said Srivastava.
Born on August 22, 2010, Garima attained early sexual maturity at 19 months of age as normally a buffalo calf attains puberty at 28 months.
It is the world’s only surviving cloned buffalo.
“Garima was inseminated with frozen-thawed semen of a progeny tested bull of NDRI on March 27, last year. She was maintained under standard scientific management system during her gestation and remained normal all through the life till delivering a calf this afternoon,” he said.
The director clarified that though China claimed to have experimented where cloned animals delivered births but not much is officially known about the claims.
“Often doubts are casted on the Chinese claims. Otherwise nowhere in the world, scientists are ever able to get a clone impregnated and making it to deliver,” he said.