Extinction of endangered species: why are scientists freezing them in “biobanks”?

  • By Victoria Gil
  • Science Correspondent, BBC News


Veterinarians at Chester Zoo take a tissue sample from a Talking Lory, an endangered tropical bird.

“It’s gone,” whispers Gabby Drake, a veterinarian at Chester Zoo, holding a stethoscope to the feathered chest of a 28-year-old bright red tropical parrot.

The bird is a chattering lory, an elderly resident of Chester Zoo and a species listed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as vulnerable to extinction.

To read especially on BBC Africa:

It is sad to see that this striking and characterful bird must be put to sleep. Their little clawed feet are gnarled and they suffer from arthritis too severe to treat.

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