Commonplace in the future ?...
A distraught dog lover had her beloved pet cloned so that she could be with him even after he had died.
New Yorker Danielle Tarantola paid an incredible US$50,000 (RM156,625) for the procedure using the DNA of her dog named Trouble to create another dog exactly the same as the first.
She named the new pup Double Trouble.
The procedure was done by the world's only animal cloning company in South Korea.
And she said of her new pooch: "I really can see no difference between them. So many of their gestures and the way they play is identical."
Just a few months ago, the former Wall Street worker got a phone call from the company's scientists informing her that the surrogate bitch carrying the embryos developed from Trouble's DNA had been successfully impregnated.
Weeks later, the surrogate went into labour and Danielle watched the birth by webcam from her home in the US.
Danielle had been so upset by the death of her constant companion three years ago that she shelled out the massive fee so that she could have an identical replacement.
She said: "He was like the child I never had - and I probably did treat him better than most people treat their children."
She even dressed the dog up in elaborate costumes which included a tuxedo for her wedding and an elf at Christmas.
After his death Danielle, who got Trouble as a pet when she was just 18, had a huge portrait of him painted on the wall of her home.
She still talked to him every day and even had his face printed on her pillowcases and bedspread to remind her of the pet she had lost.
Danielle first heard of the Asian cloning company in 2005 when Trouble was still alive.
She toyed with the idea of having the pet cloned while he was still with her so that he could meet the second dog.
But she decided against it and instead choose to have Trouble's vet take a DNA sample during a routine check up.
She said: "Originally I wanted to clone Trouble in his lifetime as I would love to have seen how they interacted together. But in the end I waited - and Double Trouble is the result."
"I know this isn't for everyone but it was my decision and I'm incredibly happy with it. I can never replace Trouble but I love Double Trouble to pieces."
And she added: "Trouble loved to hide under the bed and then nip your feet when you came near and Double Trouble does that too."
Danielle negotiated a reduced fee from the original US$100,000 (RM313,249) price tag for the operation after she secured TV coverage of her quest to replace Trouble.
The cloning of animals has been a source of controversy since the technique was pioneered in Scotland in 1996 with the birth of Dolly the sheep, the first mammal to be cloned.
John Woestendiek, the author of 'Dog, Inc.', a book about the dog cloning industry, says that the practice is centred in South Korea because there are much lower ethical standards for the treatment of dogs than in Europe and the United States.
"You can rent [dogs] from farmers for the laboratory and, hopefully, everything goes OK, return them to the farmer, but everything's not going to go OK."
The author says that some of the dogs used in the cloning process as egg donors or surrogate mothers are later sent back to the farms where they are killed and eaten.
In South Korea, dogs are raised on farms for their meat.
Source: Daily Mail, UK
|Liveleak on Facebook|