South Korean researchers said Wednesday they have successfully cloned a rare local species of cow in a government-funded project.
The team, led by Jeju National University and Mirae Biotech, said in a statement the cloned Huku or black-fur cow is healthy following its birth in September 2009.
Researchers took somatic cells from the ear of a bull before it was butchered in 2008. They kept the cells in cold storage before using them to fertilise eggs which were implanted into a cow.
The project was funded by Seoul's agriculture ministry and the provincial government of Jeju island, which has campaigned for years to prevent the Huku from becoming extinct.
The Huku breed is indigenous to the southern island, where there are about 600 of them.
The ministry and the Jeju provincial government provided 2.25 billion won (1.85 million dollars) to finance the five-year cloning project.
South Korean experts have previously cloned animals including a cow, a cat, dogs, a pig and a wolf.
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