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Local Designer Ken Fulk Donates Saber Tooth Tiger to Be Cloned

Scott Lucas | April 1, 2014 | Lifestyle Story City Life

Local designer Ken Fulk is donating a preserved saber-toothed tiger to a UC Santa Cruz lab to be cloned.

That's according to the press release and accompanying photo we just received. Since we're far too busy to fact check this story, here's the release in full.

"Declaring his stance on the de-extinction debate, renowned design guru and taxidermy collector Ken Fulk is doing his part to bring back the prehistoric Smilodon, also known as the saber-toothed tiger, by donating a rare specimen from his personal collection to Stewart Brand's Revive and Restore Foundation.

"Fulk's 10,000-year-old specimen, which was gifted to him during his annual vacation to the Alaskan fishing village of Noatak, was discovered frozen in a glacier cave near Eschscholtz Bay. By extracting DNA from the fur and claws of this incredibly preserved saber-toothed tiger, the geneticists at University California Santa Cruz paleogenomics lab may be able to bring the prehistoric large cat back from extinction. Using the genome of an Asiatic lion as a model, the scientists will attempt to recode Smilodon's genome to create a living cell that would then be used with existing cloning technology.

"Fulk’s prehistoric specimen is now on display in his San Francisco gallery, PEEP SHOW. Naming this marvelous example of taxidermy after the Inuit word for miracle, tataminartok, Fulk calls her 'Tatiana' and has become quite attached to the cat. In fact, the designer has agreed to donate all proceeds from the sales in his PEEP SHOW to researching the de-extinction of the saber-toothed tiger."

Oh, you might also want to know that the press release was dated April 1st. We don't know why that would be important, though.

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