Born of an domestic cat mother from vitro fertilization, Crystal is one of 10,000 African Black-Footed Cats. With only about 10,000 of them left in the wild, the African black-footed cat -- which gets its name from its "distinctive black foot pads" -- is listed as vulnerable to extinction by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources.
Audubon Center for Research of Endangered Species in Algiers, Louisiana logs another breakthrough in genetic engineering of endangered cats. Crystal, a rare African black-footed kitten was born on February 6, 2012 to a domestic housecat without any human assistance in the birth itself. Crystal exhibits all the characteristics of a black-footed cat despite being nurtured by a domestic cat mother.
In a breakthrough for the assisted reproduction of endangered species, Crystal, an African black-footed cat, was born early last month at the Audubon Center for Research of Endangered Species in New Orleans, the Times-Picayune reports.
According to the paper, a domestic cat was the surrogate mother for the vitro fertilization which, according to acting director of the center Earle Pope, proves embryos of the endangered species can be successfully implanted into domestic cats.
"Being able to use domestic cats adds another extra dimension to that, being able to produce more," Pope told the Times-Picayune.
The African black-footed cat population is declining due to loss of habitat as well as a decline in population of the prey they hunt, according to the Associated Press.
With only about 10,000 of them left in the wild, the African black-footed cat -- which gets its name from its "distinctive black foot pads" -- is listed as vulnerable to extinction by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural
Plus she is so cute. I'd love to take her home. Just let that squirrel that keeps breaking into my home with Crystal around.