Posted: Mar 13, 2012 1:06 PM by AP
NEW ORLEANS (AP) - A fierce, tiny kitten is proof that black-footed cat embryos can be successfully implanted into housecats and that there are still kinks to be worked out in cloning the southern African species.
Crystal is a test-tube kitten, not cloned. Her embryo was implanted into the womb of a domestic cat. She was born Feb. 6 at the Audubon Center for Research of Endangered Species, becoming one of fewer than 80 black-footed cats in captivity.
ACRES has successfully cloned three other wildcat species. But acting director Earle Pope says that with black-footed cats, such pregnancies don't make it to term. He says scientists are trying to work out what's going wrong.
Black-footed cats are among the world's smallest felines. Pope says Crystal is very aggressive.