Bison calf born in Colorado lab for conservation found dead

Posted at 8:30 AM, May 23, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-23 10:30:06-04

FORT COLLINS, Colo. (AP) — A bison calf born in a lab through in-vitro fertilization and introduced to a conservation herd has died.

The Coloradoan reports that the calf was found dead at the bottom of a 30-foot (9-meter) drop-off in April. Managers of the Laramie Foothills Bison Conservation Herd can't be certain how she died, but say it's possible she fell off or was the target of predators. The project's lead scientist, Jennifer Barfield, said coyotes got to the calf "and didn't leave a whole lot for" researchers to look at.

In-vitro fertilization means the egg is fertilized outside of the bison. The method offers opportunities for conservation because frozen embryos are viable for decades.

Barfield said the calf was in good health for a year and her death doesn't detract from her success.