The world's first water buffalo cloned from somatic cells was born Thursday morning in south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.
The buffalo's heart rate, temperature and breathing were normal. About 30 minutes after birth, the calf stood up and nursed, said Dr. Shi Deshun, head of the research project at Guangxi University.
The calf, which was born at 4:15 a.m., weighs 23 kilograms and is 86 centimeters long and 62.5 centimeters tall, said Shi.
The calf was cloned with ovary cells that were taken from an adult native buffalo and were transplanted into the 12-year-old female buffalo on April 10, 2004.
"The birth of the calf proves that our somatic cell clone technology is mature and this technology will greatly promote cattle breeding in China," said the doctor.
"Our university has another two buffaloes pregnant with babies cloned with somatic cells and they are expected to be born this year," he said.
Last November, a buffalo also gave birth to a cloned calf at the university, but the calf suffocated when amniotic fluid choked in its respiratory system shortly after birth.