Scotlands History

Dolly the Sheep

In February 1997 scientists from the Roslin Institute near Edinburgh announced that they had successfully cloned a sheep. Dolly was the first mammal to be cloned successfully from an adult cell.

Dolly the Sheep became an instant celebrity. She hit headlines around the world. News reporters and TV crews from across the globe wanted to film Dolly as she went about her daily life. She appeared to be a perfectly ordinary Finnish Dorset sheep but, in reality, she was a scientific breakthrough.  

Dolly was an exact genetic duplicate. She was born on 5 July 1996. Embryologist Dr Ian Wilmut went on the win receive an OBE and a knighthood - though Wilmut has stated that his colleague Keith H. S. Campbell deserves the majority of the credit for their team’s success.

Dolly lived for six years and became a mother - giving birth to Bonnie, Sally and Rosie, and Lucy, Darcy and Cotton. She developed a progressive lung disease and was put down in 2003. Today, Dolly the Sheep can be seen on display at the National Museum of Scotland.

She was been called ‘the most famous sheep in the world’.

  • An image of Dolly the Sheep
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