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Chinese Want To Clone Rare Dolphin
BEIJING (AP) FEBRUARY 16, 2000 — Chinese scientists hope to clone an endangered dolphin whose Yangtze River habitat is becoming increasingly polluted, the state-run Xinhua News Agency said Wednesday.

Cells have been extracted from Qiqi, a white-flag dolphin raised by humans, to get genetic information for cloning, Xinhua quoted Zhang Xianfeng, an expert with a marine biology institute in the central city of Wuhan, as saying.

The white-flag dolphin is one of world's most endangered animals, Xinhua said. Because of its weak reproductive ability and increased pollution in the Yangtze, fewer than 100 survive, the agency said.

Scientists will also try to obtain genetic material from wild dolphins for research and experiments in cloning and reproduction, Xinhua said.

Zhang said his institute needs $180,000 to start the cloning experiment.

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