‘Klondike’ Born From A Frozen Embryo
Beagle X Labrador Retriever puppy, “Klondike” now 9 months old is one of the first pups in the world to be born from a frozen embryo. He is a happy, healthy and very typical puppy, well developed and full of playful energy and the curiosity regarding just about everything, as puppies inclined to be!
Whilst his parents breeds are not endangered ones it is hoped that the technique used to produce Klondlike will also, in the future be used on and to preserve endangered and rare canine species, for example, the red wolf.
The technique in question is known as cryopreservation, a process that involves collecting and freezing, in this case scenario, fertilised eggs. Fertilisation occurs when as with Klondlike’s surrogate mum – a beagle, the female dog is able to become pregnant, and the embryo transferred to her. This is known as artificial insemination. Timing is vital as she will only “come on heat” once or twice yearly, so the window of time in which canine pregnancy can occur is very limited.
““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, who worked on the project and is director of Cornell’s campus-wide Centre for Wildlife Conservation.
Cornell University Research Report