Endangered species: why are scientists freezing them in “biobanks”?

  • Written by Victoria Hill
  • BBC News correspondent

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Veterinarians at the Chester Zoo take a tissue sample from the endangered chatty lory, a tropical bird.

“He’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 chattering lory is an elderly resident of the 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 characteristic bird needs to be put to sleep. His small clawed paws are nodular and suffer from arthritis that cannot be treated.

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