A university in Peru has won a grant that will enable them to attempt to clone alpacas. This university, the University of San Marcos in Lima, is considered Peru´s best public university.
Using the S/ 500,000 obtained by winning this grant, the Faculty of Biological Sciences at the University of San Marcos will begin efforts to start cloning alpacas, as part of a larger conservation effort for the animal.
Alpacas are very important to the people of Peru not just as a national symbol, but also as the livelihood of many rural communities. Alpacas also provide these communities with sustenance from their meat and warmth from their coats.
Unfortunately, it is complicated for alpacas to reproduce due a variety of biological quirks unique to their species. This is precisely why the scientists at the University of San Marcos want to begin cloning these animals—because they feel that it will enable the survival of species and in turn, support the rural families that rely on alpacas for their income.
The team of the University has assembled will use the reproductive organs of another alpaca to begin the cloning process.