The domestic ferret was first cloned in 2006 through somatic cell nuclear transfer, in part to produce test subjects for human medical research. However, the process may be used to protect endangered ferrets as well. The black-footed ferret is among the most endangered mammals in North America. A recent boom in the prairie dog population, which the ferret likes to eat, has slowly brought their numbers back up. However, as landowners often blame the ferret for damaging crops, their situation remains tenuous.