AboutZoos, Since 2008


Klondike, puppy born from a frozen embryo, fetches good news for endan­gered animals

pub­lished 06 Feb­ru­ary 2013 | mod­i­fied 06 Feb­ru­ary 2013
Klondike playingMeet Klondike, the west­ern hemisphere’s first puppy born from a frozen embryo. He’s a beagle-​Labrador retriever mix, and although nei­ther of those breeds are endan­gered, Klondike’s very exis­tence is excit­ing news for endan­gered canids, like the red wolf.

Now nine months old, Klondike’s bea­gle mother was fer­tilised using arti­fi­cial insem­i­na­tion. The result­ing embryos were col­lected and frozen until Klondike’s sur­ro­gate mother, also a bea­gle, was ready to receive the embryo.

This frozen embryo tech­nique is one of many repro­duc­tive tech­nolo­gies that can be used to con­serve endan­gered species such as wild canids. Con­ducted by researchers at Cornell’s Baker Insti­tute for Ani­mal Health and the Smith­son­ian Con­ser­va­tion Biol­ogy Insti­tute, the process of freez­ing mate­ri­als such as fer­tilised eggs — cry­op­reser­va­tion — pro­vides researchers with a tool to repop­u­late endan­gered species. Because dogs cycle are able to sus­tain a preg­nancy only once or twice a year, being able to freeze canine embryos is espe­cially impor­tant to coor­di­nate tim­ing for trans­fer into the sur­ro­gates.

Repro­duc­tion in dogs is remark­ably dif­fer­ent than in other mam­mals. We’re work­ing to under­stand these dif­fer­ences so we can tackle issues rang­ing from devel­op­ing con­tra­cep­tives to pre­serv­ing the genetic diver­sity of endan­gered ani­mals through assisted reproduction.
(Alex Travis, Baker fac­ulty mem­ber and Direc­tor of Cornell’s campus-​wide Cen­ter for Wildlife Con­ser­va­tion)

This research is funded in part by the National Insti­tutes of Health, Cornell’s Baker Insti­tute and the Smith­son­ian Insti­tu­tion, and is part of a new, joint pro­gram to train the next gen­er­a­tion of sci­en­tists to solve real world prob­lems in con­ser­va­tion.

The Baker Insti­tute for Ani­mal Health of The Col­lege of Vet­eri­nary Med­i­cine at Cor­nell is one of the old­est research cen­tres ded­i­cated to the study of vet­eri­nary infec­tious dis­eases, immunol­ogy, genet­ics and repro­duc­tion. For more infor­ma­tion about vet­eri­nary med­i­cine at Cor­nell, visit:

(Source: Cor­nell Uni­ver­sity press release, 05.02.2013)
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