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Posted : 2009-09-01 11:01
Updated : 2009-09-01 11:01

Worlds 1st Cloned Wolf Found Dead in Zoo

The world's first cloned wolf was found dead last week at a zoo in Seoul where the animal had been cared for but the cause of the death has not been known.

Snuwolf, one of two wolves successfully cloned by veterinary professors at Seoul National University (SNU) in 2005, was found dead on Aug. 26 in a terrarium at the Seoul Zoo, according to Yonhap News Agency.

The zoo and the SNU team performed an autopsy the day the female wolf's body was found, but the exact cause will not be determined until full results are available in about a month, Yonhap said.

"Snuwolf had been in good condition," said Prof. Shin Nam-sik, a lead member of the team that first cloned the animals. "Wild animals often die suddenly, and we will know the cause of death when the results of the autopsy come out."

Shin refuted claims that technical problems in the cloning process had caused the death. "We should not exaggerate the incident, as many animals die suddenly," he was quoted as saying.

Snuwolf and her sister Snuwolffy were created by transplanting fertilized eggs with implanted somatic cells to a surrogate wolf. Snuwolffy is alive and is currently being cared for at the Seoul Zoo, officials said.