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Man guilty of using cloned animal parts to create giant 'franken-sheep'

By T.K. Randall
March 14, 2024 · Comment icon 9 comments
Marco Polo sheep.
The Marco Polo sheep has huge spiraling horns. Image Credit: Bing AI / Dall-E 3
The 80-year-old had been attempting to create enormous hybrid animals for hunters to shoot on his property.
The elaborate scheme, which was as inventive and clever as it was totally illegal, was cooked up by Arthur 'Jack' Schubarth - the octogenarian owner of an "alternative livestock" ranch in Montana.

According to the US Department of Justice, in 2013 Schubarth had begun an elaborate scheme to produce gargantuan hybrid sheep by illegally importing the biological tissue of the Marco Polo sheep - the largest sheep species found anywhere in the world.

Native to the mountainous regions of Central Asia, these huge sheep can weigh up to 300 pounds and have horns that grow up to 5 feet wide, making them a prime target for wealthy trophy hunters.

The decade-long endeavor involved smuggling tissue into the US and then sending it to a laboratory where over 150 cloned embryos were created.

"Schubarth then implanted the embryos in ewes on his ranch, resulting in a single, pure genetic male Marco Polo argali that he named 'Montana Mountain King' or MMK," the authorities wrote.
He then proceeded to artificially impregnate his female sheep to create a new, hybrid species.

The new gigantic 'franken-sheep' could then be used to provide sport for trophy hunters.

It had all been going according to plan until he was caught by the authorities.

"This was an audacious scheme to create massive hybrid sheep species to be sold and hunted as trophies," said assistant Attorney General Todd Kim from the Justice Department's Environment and Natural Resources Division.

"In pursuit of this scheme, Schubarth violated international law and the Lacey Act, both of which protect the viability and health of native populations of animals."

The guilty party could now face 5 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

Source: Yahoo! News | Comments (9)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Sovreign citizen 3 months ago
But they are just undocumented sheep looking to do the jobs American sheep won't do.
Comment icon #2 Posted by Berwen 3 months ago
Say "NO" to all trophy hunters who murder animals for sport!!
Comment icon #3 Posted by Guyver 3 months ago
Wow…talk about ingenuity!  This guy is over the top! I guess it’s no worse than the people in the US making a killing on breeding and selling labradoodles for $1200 each.  Some people have quit their normal jobs now because they are making so much money on their own puppy farms.
Comment icon #4 Posted by MrsGently 3 months ago
It worked. And I mean they live 13 years, if they got a good life before they get hunted and not tortured to death... It's a great story. Almost makes me sad they caught him.
Comment icon #5 Posted by Guyver 3 months ago
Correction to my post.  I was just informed that some people will pay up to $3500 for a labradoodle.
Comment icon #6 Posted by Abramelin 3 months ago
And what will happen with those cloned sheep? Thàt's the question.
Comment icon #7 Posted by simplybill 3 months ago
Giant mammoths, giant sheep…I hope they do gorillas next.  
Comment icon #8 Posted by sludgehammer 3 months ago
And after the gorillas they do Komodo Dragons and Saltwater Crocs! LET THEM FIGHT!!
Comment icon #9 Posted by joc 3 months ago
Birds of a feather I suppose.

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