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De-extinction milestone: First-ever cloning of North American native endangered species

Last year, Ben Novak drove across the country to spend New Year’s Eve with a black-footed ferret. Elizabeth Ann had just turned 21 days old — surely a milestone for any ferret but a particularly meaningful one for Elizabeth Ann, the first of any native, endangered animal species in North America to be cloned.

Dr. Novak, the lead scientist of the biotechnology nonprofit Revive & Restore, bought a trailer camper to drive his wife and identical twin toddlers from North Carolina to the National Black-footed Ferret Conservation Center near Fort Collins, Colo. (They made one pit stop in Texas to see Kurt, the first cloned Przewalski’s horse.)

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