Elated with a cloned buffalo giving birth to a healthy calf, the National Dairy Research of India (NDRI) is now gearing up to clone the endangered wild buffalo.
Nowhere in the world has cloning been used to conserve wildlife, say experts. On October 29, HT had reported the Chhattisgarh government's proposal to save its state animal -the wild buffalo - through cloning.
The NDRI has agreed in principle with the Chhattisgarh government, said institute director Dr AK Srivastava. "I have written to the Indian Council of Agricultural Research for final approval. The project is expected to be cleared by March," Srivastava said.
The premier institute has already cloned the world's first domestic buffalo and a pashmina goat. On Friday, a domestic cloned buffalo delivered a calf.
According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, wild buffaloes are on the red list of threatened species. Once found in abundance in central India, wild buffaloes are now restricted to a few spots in the forests of Chhattisgarh, said an NDRI scientist. Success of the proposed project would pave the way towards conserving lions, tigers and other wild animals.