Dr Ali Ridha Al Hashimi, the administrative director at the centre, and his scientific team made the announcement that Injaz, the world’s first cloned camel, gave birth to a healthy female calf weighing about 38 kilos on November 2. Injaz, whose name means “achievement” in Arabic, was cloned in 2009 from the ovarian cells of a dead camel. Injaz conceived naturally and delivered after a normal gestation. “This will prove cloned camels are fertile and can reproduce the same as naturally produced camels,” said Dr Nisar Wani, scientific director of the centre in Nad Al Sheba, last April when Injaz’s pregnancy was announced.
Dr Wani said that many cloned camels have been created using cells from the skin of elite animals. The use of skin cells has made cloning easier. Bin-Soughan was the world’s first camel cloned from skin cells of an elite bull, in 2010. “We have a few more cloned camels pregnant and are expecting them to deliver early next year,” added Dr Wani. When Injaz was cloned, the news was applauded throughout the global scientific community, with the camel’s picture making the covers of several scientific journals.