Scientists in Peru attempt to clone Alpacas and LLamas

Jaime Ruiz Bejar (center) with his team of scientists.

(LIP-ir) — In an attempt to genetically improve the species, a group of scientists from the University of Huancavelica, led by specialist Jamie Ruiz Bejar, is working on cloning a Peruvian alpaca for the first time.

In statements made to Andina news agency, Bejar explained that the first step in the process had involved the in vitro reproduction of embryos using choice female eggs.

He stated that semen had not been necessary for the fertilization process.

"We take the ovaries out and use a syringe to extract the oocytes, we then mix them with a solution so they keep their ph and wait for them to mature naturally", said the specialist.

It was reported that after 26 hours of maturing, chemical activation takes place. 48 hours later zygotes are produced and after eight days scientists have embryos. This is the stage the scientists from the University of Huancavelica are in.

"It’s long-term work, but we hope to have the country’s first trans-genetic camelid", said Bejar. "We’ve produced 300 alpaca embryos, but it’s complicated and we’ve only just begun. The last step is cloning."

He explained that the goal was to improve the quality of alpacas and llamas in Peru.