Facebook Twitter

3rd cloned mule born as part of Project Idaho

SHARE 3rd cloned mule born as part of Project Idaho

MOSCOW, Idaho — A third cloned mule has been born as part of Project Idaho, researchers said Monday.

The clone was born early Sunday at an undisclosed location.

It joins Idaho Gem, born May 4, and Utah Pioneer, born June 9. Researchers from the University of Idaho and Utah State University have decided the name of the newest clone will be chosen from entries submitted by Idaho fourth-graders.

Dr. Dirk Vanderwall, who specializes in the care of mares and foals, called the three foals exceptionally healthy and vigorous. Their temperature, pulse and all other signs show that they are developing normally, Vanderwall said.

"There's nothing out of the ordinary that we can see," he said.

Laboratories in Italy, England, Texas and Louisiana have attempted to clone horses, but none has announced any success.

"In a nutshell, I think it was a big unknown about how well equine clones would do," Vanderwall said. "Based on efforts to clone other species like cattle, there have been some problems.

"We were happy to see that our clones have been born healthy and appear to be absolutely normal," Vanderwall added.

Cloning success at the University of Idaho campus's Northwest Equine Reproduction Laboratory followed the discovery by Dr. Gordon Woods, the laboratory's director, that calcium levels in the fluid holding the single-cell clones had to be adjusted.

The name of the new cloned mule will be announced Oct. 17 during the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences Ag Days celebration, where the three clones will be displayed.