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What animals have we cloned?

Cloning is a fascinating and controversial field of science that has captured the imagination of many. It involves the replication of living organisms by creating genetically identical copies. While the concept of cloning may seem like something out of a science fiction novel, it has become a reality in recent decades. In this blog post, we will explore the world of animal cloning and discuss the various animals that have been successfully cloned.

Cloned Animals


Cattle were among the first animals to be successfully cloned. The most famous example is Dolly the sheep, who was cloned in 1996. Dolly’s birth marked a significant milestone in the field of cloning, as she was the first mammal to be cloned from an adult somatic cell. Since then, numerous other mammals have been successfully cloned.


As mentioned earlier, Dolly the sheep was a groundbreaking achievement in the field of animal cloning. She was born on July 5, 1996, at the Roslin Institute in Scotland. Dolly was cloned from a somatic cell taken from an adult ewe, making her the first mammal to be cloned from an adult cell. Her birth generated immense interest and sparked debates about the ethics and implications of cloning.


In 2001, researchers at Texas A&M University successfully cloned a domestic cat named “CC” (short for Carbon Copy). CC was cloned using a process called somatic cell nuclear transfer, which involves transferring the nucleus of a donor cell into an egg cell that has had its nucleus removed. CC’s birth opened up possibilities for cloning other domestic animals, such as dogs and horses.


In 2003, a sika deer named “Dewey” became the first deer to be cloned by Chinese scientists. Dewey was cloned from a fetal fibroblast cell, which was then implanted into a surrogate mother. This breakthrough in deer cloning could have implications for the preservation and conservation of endangered deer species.


In 2005, scientists at Seoul National University in South Korea successfully cloned the world’s first dog. The dog, named “Snuppy,” was a male Afghan hound and was cloned using somatic cell nuclear transfer. The successful cloning of a dog opened up possibilities for cloning other dog breeds and could potentially play a role in preserving endangered dog species.


Cloning of horses has also been accomplished by scientists. In 2003, a horse named “Prometea” became the first cloned horse in the world. The cloning process involved transferring the nucleus of an adult skin cell into an enucleated egg cell. Prometea’s birth was a significant achievement in the equine field and could potentially be used for preserving valuable horse genetics.


In 2005, scientists at the University of Idaho successfully cloned a mule named “Idaho Gem.” Mules are a cross between a male donkey and a female horse and are generally infertile. However, through cloning, it is possible to create genetically identical mules. Idaho Gem’s birth showcased the potential of cloning in producing male mules for work and other purposes.


In 2016, Chinese scientists announced the successful cloning of an ox using somatic cell nuclear transfer. The cloned ox, named “Niu Niu,” was born with normal health and growth, marking a significant achievement in cloning larger animals. This breakthrough could have implications for the livestock industry and agricultural practices.


Though less common than other cloned animals, rabbits have also been successfully cloned. In 2001, researchers at the University of Hawaii cloned a female rabbit named “Eve.” Eve was cloned from a cumulus cell, and her birth demonstrated the potential of cloning in the field of reproductive biology and animal genetics.


In 2003, scientists at the University of Hawaii successfully cloned rats using a method called “embryo splitting.” This method involves dividing an early-stage embryo into multiple embryos, each of which then develops into a genetically identical individual. Rat cloning has been instrumental in furthering research on various medical conditions and diseases.

Rhesus Monkey

Another significant milestone in animal cloning is the cloning of a rhesus monkey. In 2007, Chinese scientists successfully cloned a rhesus monkey using somatic cell nuclear transfer. The monkey, named “Zhong Zhong,” was cloned from fetal fibroblast cells. This achievement has provided valuable insights into primate biology and has opened up possibilities for further research on human diseases and genetic disorders.

Cloning Techniques

Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer

Somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) is one of the primary methods used for animal cloning. The process involves taking a somatic cell, which is any cell in the body except reproductive cells, and replacing the nucleus of an egg cell with the nucleus from the somatic cell. The egg cell then develops into an embryo and is implanted into a surrogate mother for gestation. While SCNT has proven successful in cloning various animals, it is a complex and time-consuming process with limitations in terms of efficiency and genetic abnormalities in the cloned offspring.

Applications of Cloning

Research and Biomedical Purposes

Animal cloning has played a pivotal role in advancing scientific research and understanding various biological processes. Cloned animals are often used as models for studying diseases, genetics, and the effects of certain treatments. Additionally, cloned animals can provide researchers with a controlled and consistent genetic background, eliminating variations that may occur in natural populations.

Preservation of Endangered Species

Cloning offers hope for the preservation of endangered species by creating genetically identical copies that can help boost population numbers. This approach has been explored in certain species, such as deer and horses, with the aim of conserving their genetic diversity and preventing extinction.

Reproduction of High-Value Animals

Cloning also allows for the reproduction of high-value animals, such as livestock with desirable traits or racehorses with exceptional abilities. By cloning these animals, their unique genetics can be preserved and propagated, potentially benefiting industries such as agriculture and horse racing.

Contributions to Scientific Understanding

Animal cloning has contributed significantly to our understanding of reproductive biology and genetics. By manipulating and studying the process of cloning, scientists have gained insights into how genetic material is regulated and how it influences development and traits. This knowledge can have broad applications in various fields of science and medicine.

Ethical and Legal Considerations

Moral Debates Surrounding Animal Cloning

The cloning of animals raises ethical questions and concerns related to the manipulation and control of life. Some argue that animal cloning is a violation of the natural order and entails unnecessary suffering for the cloned animals. Others believe that it is a valuable tool for scientific advancement and can ultimately benefit society.

Regulations and Restrictions on Cloned Animals

Many countries have regulations and restrictions in place regarding the cloning of animals. These regulations aim to ensure the ethical treatment and welfare of cloned animals and address concerns about potential risks and implications. It is essential to have a framework that balances scientific progress and ethical considerations.

Future Implications and Challenges

Potential Advancements in Cloning Technology

As technology continues to advance, there is the potential for significant advancements in cloning techniques. Improvements in efficiency, accuracy, and safety could make cloning more accessible and practical. This could lead to further breakthroughs in the preservation of endangered species, agricultural practices, and medical research.

Ethical and Societal Implications

As cloning technology progresses, society will have to grapple with the ethical and societal implications of creating genetically identical animals. Discussions around animal welfare, environmental impacts, and the potential for human cloning are likely to shape the future of cloning and its acceptance.

Scientific and Technological Hurdles to Overcome

While significant progress has been made, there are still scientific and technological hurdles to overcome in animal cloning. Challenges such as the low success rates of cloning, genetic abnormalities in cloned animals, and ethical considerations require further research and development before cloning becomes more widespread.


In summary, animal cloning has come a long way since the birth of Dolly the sheep in 1996. From cattle to cats, deer to dogs, and horses to rats, scientists have successfully cloned a wide range of mammals. Cloning techniques, such as somatic cell nuclear transfer, have enabled the creation of genetically identical copies with various applications in research, conservation, and agriculture. However, ethical and legal considerations remain an important part of the ongoing debates surrounding animal cloning. Looking ahead, advancements in technology hold promise for the future of cloning, but challenges such as genetic abnormalities and societal acceptance need to be addressed. Overall, animal cloning continues to captivate the scientific community and raise important questions about the nature of life and our role in manipulating it.


  1. List of animals that have been cloned
  2. 15 animals that have been successfully cloned by scientists
  3. Insights from one thousand cloned dogs | Scientific Reports
  4. Here are some famous cloned animals from around the world
  5. 8 Mammals That Have Been Cloned Since Dolly the Sheep