A pair of Texans recently announced that they had successfully cloned a whitetail deer. It seems they have been cloning horses for the past few years (much to the dismay The American Quarter Horse Association who refused to register them) and are now expanding into captive deer. Deer cloning is not new news, Texas A&M University cloned their first whitetail back in 2003 and numerous clones are now in existence. What’s news here is, deer breeders are beginning to realize that they have another tool to use in their obsessive pursuit of massive antlers and they are beginning to show plenty of interest. Oversized antlers mean mega-bucks for deer breeders and it appears that they will stop at nothing, including cloning.
Ever since the advent of Dolly the sheep 16 years ago the scientific community has been experimenting with species reproduction through cloning. To be fair, most of the work has been done by well-meaning scientists in the interest of the advancement of knowledge and there is growing interest in cloning endangered species to save them from extinction. But, there is nothing even remotely related to extinction when it comes to whitetail deer. When it comes to cloning whitetails, it is all about big bucks—dollars that is.