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March 25 2013

Embryos of World's Most Endangered Cat Preserved for 1st Time


It seems counterintuitive that castration could help save a species facing extinction. But through removing the ovaries of a female Iberian lynx, scientists say they were able to collect and preserve embryos from the world's most endangered wild cat for the first time.

Conservationists are hoping the fertilized eggs could be implanted into a surrogate mother of a closely related species, possibly a Eurasian lynx female. Even one successful surrogate pregnancy could be a boost for felines, whose declining population had been estimated to be less than 200 a decade ago.

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