Kingdom: Animalia
    C. pyrenaica
    C. p. pyrenaica

The Pyrenean Ibex (Capra pyrenaica pyrenaica), or Pyrenean Wild Goat, was a Spanish Ibex subspecies found in the Pyrenees, noted for being the only animal to have gone extinct twice.

The decline of the Pyrenean Ibex is attributed primarily to overhunting; by the turn of the 20th Century, the wild population of Pyrenean Ibex had dwindled to less than a hundred. In 1973, The Pyrenean Ibex was made a protected species, but by the time preservation efforts had begun, the number of Pyrenean Ibex had dropped to only ten individuals. On January 6th, 2000, the last Pyrenean Ibex, a 13-year-old female named Celia, was found dead, crushed beneath a fallen tree in Ordesa National Park.

Then, in 2009, the Pyrenean Ibex became the first creature to be brought back from extinction, after scientists succeeded in cloning Celia (through the use of tissue collected prior to her death), delivering a genetically identical kid, which had been implanted as an embryo within a domestic goat surrogate. The cloned Ibex lived for approximately seven minutes before dying of respiratory failure as a result of severe lung defects. And yet, the project—a joint venture between Spain's Agrifood Research and Technology Centre of Aragon and National Research Institute of Agriculture and Food Technology, along with the French National Institute of Agricultural Research—had, despite its apparent failure, only bolstered scientific optimism in cloning, as the means not only for the future preservation of the Pyrenean Ibex, but of many other critically endangered species as well.

While otherwise similar in appearance to the other three Spanish Ibex subspecies, the Pyrenean Ibex was distinguished both by its thick, curved horns and the prominent black and tan colouration of the male Ibex's coat.


  1. "Last Pyrenean ibex killed by tree" by Michael McCarthy, The Independent (January 28th, 2000)
  2. "Hello again, Pyrenean ibex: Can cloning resurrect an extinct species?" by John Platt, Scientific American (February 3rd, 2009)
  3. "Extinct ibex is resurrected by cloning" by Richard Gray & Roger Dobson, Telegraph (January 31st, 2009)
  4. "Capra pyrenaica pyrenaica" by Peter Maas, The Extinction Website (February 10th, 2009)
  5. "Capra pyrenaica" The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (2008)
  6. Centro de Investigación y Tecnología Agroalimentaria de Aragón
  7. Instituto Nacional de Investigación y Tecnología Agraria y Alimentaria
  8. Institut national de la recherche agronomique

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