The Siberian Times reports that South Korean cloning scientist Hwang Woo-Suk plans to clone an extinct Siberian cave lion, using tissue samples from one of a pair of the animals found preserved in permafrost last year.
The two prehistoric big cats were infants when they died, their remains estimated to be some 12,000 years old, found in a cave in Yakutia, a part of Siberia also called the Sakha Republic.
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Woo-Suk, already pursuing the resurrection of a woolly mammoth, got his samples after a dispute over tissue sample size was settled via compromise between the Korean and Siberian scientists.
Siberian cave lions (Panthera leo spelaea) would have looked roughly like modern lions. They lived during the Pleistocene and were distributed throughout Europe, Asia and northwestern North America, before going extinct about 10,000 years ago.
It's likely they preyed on animals such as bison, young or injured mammoths, deer, and horses.
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The lion cubs were estimated to be only a couple of weeks old. While the circumstances surrounding their deaths is not certain, Albert Protopopov, head of the mammoth fauna studies department of the Yakutian Academy of Sciences, told the Times he surmises the cubs were placed in the cave by their mother for protection, but then a landslide sealed the area, trapping the young animals inside.
via The Siberian Times