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Last Updated: Wednesday, 7 May, 2003, 11:43 GMT 12:43 UK
Cow becomes Africa's first clone
Futi, Africa's first cloned animal
Futi was cloned from a champion milk-producer

A cloned calf has been born in South Africa, which scientists say is Africa's first cloned animal.

The female was born on 19 April and was the copy of a champion milk cow, which produced up to 78 litres of milk a day.

"She's doing brilliant," veterinarian Morne de la Rey told BBC News Online.

She has been named Futi, which means "replica" or "repeat" in Zulu.

Dr de la Rey said Futi had been cloned using an "egg-shell free" or "zona-free" oocite technique, which is different from that used to make Dolly the sheep, the world's first animal cloned from an adult cell.

Record-holder

Futi was the result of collaboration between the South African Embryo Plus centre and scientists at the Danish Agriculture Institute.

Her white and black markings are almost identical to those of the donor cow, a Holstein heifer, referred to as LMJC865.

In the short term, it's not commercially viable
Dr Morne de la Rey

The cow is South Africa's record-holding milk cow.

She produced 20,426 kilograms of milk in 300 days, Dr de la Rey said.

Futi was born in Brits some 65 km north-west of Johannesburg.

Futi, Africa's first cloned animal
Scientists hope cloning will eventually make money

"Futi is definitely Africa's first cloned animal," he said.

Dr de la Rey said that they wanted to prove that it was possible to clone an animal in Africa.

"In the short term, it's not commercially viable," he said. "We don't even know how much it cost."

But he hopes that in the long-term, cloning will start making money for African farmers.




WATCH AND LISTEN
The BBC's Alastair Leithead
"She has got a lot to live up to"



SEE ALSO:
Dolly the sheep clone dies young
14 Feb 03  |  Science/Nature
Cloned sheep Dolly has arthritis
04 Jan 02  |  Science/Nature
Head-to-head: Cloning
04 Jan 02  |  UK News


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