Cloning is in excessive demand within the aggressive world of camel magnificence pageants, leaving scientists at a Dubai clinic working around the clock to supply carbon-copy beasts.
Not each animal is blessed with sought-after drooping lips and a tall, elegant neck, however know-how now permits rich purchasers to exchange their most stunning camel with one similar to it.
At the Reproductive Biotechnology Center, with views of the UAE metropolis’s towering skyscrapers, scientists pore over microscopes whereas dozens of cloned camels roam outdoors.
“We have so much demand for cloning camels that we are not able to keep up,” the centre’s scientific director Nisar Wani informed AFP.
Beauty pageants should not the one driver of the camel cloning trade. Many clients wish to reproduce racing camels, or animals that produce massive quantities of milk.
But “beauty queens” are the preferred order. Gulf purchasers pays between 200,000 and 400,000 dirham ($54,500-$109,000) to duplicate a dromedary.
The camels are paraded at dusty racetracks across the area and scrutinised by judges, with occasional discoveries of Botox and beauty fillers including a spice of scandal to the high-stakes contests.
Saud Al-Otaibi, who runs a camel public sale in Kuwait, mentioned clients’ judgement of the animals’ appears to be like is vital to his enterprise.
“The price of the camel is determined according to its beauty, health, and how well known the breed is,” he informed AFP.
When it involves young animals, “customers are keen on seeing the mother to determine its beauty before buying the camel,” he added.
No going again
Twelve years in the past, Dubai claimed the world’s first cloned camel.
Injaz, a feminine whose identify means achievement in Arabic, was born on April 8, 2009, after greater than 5 years of labor by Wani and others.
From the minute Injaz was born, there was no going again.
“We are now producing plenty, maybe more than 10 to 20 babies every year. This year we have 28 pregnancies (so far), last year we had 20,” Wani mentioned with pleasure.
The centre is churning out “racing champions, high milk-producing animals… and winners of beauty contests called Beauty Queens”, added Wani, sitting in a lab subsequent to the preserved physique of a cloned camel in a glass container.
Known as “ships of the desert”, and as soon as used for transport throughout the sands of the Arab peninsula, camels are symbols of conventional Gulf tradition.
Now, after being changed by gas-guzzling SUVs as the primary mode of transport, they’re used for racing, meat and milk.
“We have cloned some she-camels that produce more than 35 litres of milk a day,” mentioned Wani, in comparison with a mean of 5 litres in regular camels.
Camel milk is often discovered subsequent to common milk at supermarkets within the Gulf, whereas meat merchandise resembling camel carpaccio are served in fancy eating places.
Cloning canine, cows and horses is standard in lots of nations, though animal rights teams say the method causes undue struggling to the animals that present the egg cells and carry embryos.
With orders flying into the cloning clinics within the United Arab Emirates, the one such amenities within the Gulf, scientists have developed new methods to maintain up with the tempo.
Female camels solely give beginning to at least one calf each two years, together with a gestation interval of 13 months.
But breeding centres use a surrogacy approach to extend the variety of offspring, whether or not from cloning or conventional breeding.
“In this process which we call multiple ovulation and embryo transfer, we super-stimulate the champion females and breed them with champion males,” defined Wani.
“We collect the embryos from these females after seven to eight days and then we put them in surrogate mothers, which are very ordinary animals.”
Alternatively, cloned camels will be created by putting DNA from cells within the desired animal’s ovaries into eggs taken from the surrogate moms.
“These mothers carry the babies to term, and instead of producing one baby at a time in a year, we can produce many calves from these animals.”
Cloning isn’t just for individuals who wish to personal elite camels. Sometimes, purchasers merely wish to reproduce a beloved animal after a sudden demise.
Wani, who began working on the clinic in 2003, mentioned his proudest second was the beginning of Injaz—and the worst time was her demise.
“She died this year,” he mentioned. “When we came in the morning, she had ruptured her uterus. We tried to save her as much as possible. This was the saddest moment.”
© 2021 AFP
Clone your camel: magnificence pageants, races spur excessive demand (2021, September 12)
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