Scientists Preserve Embryos of World's Most Endangered Wild Cat

Scientists say that they were able to collect and preserve embryos from the world's most endangered wild cat - the Iberian lynx - by removing the ovaries.

Conservationists hope that the fertilized eggs could be implanted into a surrogate mother of a closely related species, possibly a Eurasian lynx female. Just one successful surrogate pregnancy could help the endangered felines, whose dwindling population was estimated at less than 200 a decade ago.

An Iberian lynx by the name of Azahar was a part of a breeding program in Silves, Portugal, but had difficulties giving birth and had to undergo two emergency Caesarean sections in two consecutive pregnancies.

For health reasons, conservationists determined that they should not attempt to breed Azahar again and her ovaries were removed by castration.