9/11 Hero Dog Cloned
2009-06-20 0:00

PhysOrg.com

Clones of 9/11 hero dog unveiled in Los Angeles


Trust, Solace, Prodigy, Valor and Dejavu in Los Angeles, California to present the cloned puppies of Trakr, a German shepherd, who sniffed out survivors from under the rubble of New York's World Trade Center after the 2001 terror strikes. Trakr was cloned in South Korea under the direction of Doctor Hwang Woo-Suk. AFP PHOTO / GABRIEL BOUYS


James Symington, a former Canadian police officer, choked back tears as he formally took possession of the five descendants of his beloved German shepherd named Trakr, who died in April.

Symington was presented with Trakr's offspring after winning a competition organized by California firm BioArts International -- the "Golden Clone Giveaway" -- to find the world's most "cloneworthy" dog.

Symington said he hopes the puppies -- Trustt, Valor, Prodigy, Solace and Deja Vu -- will go on to follow in Trakr's footsteps.

"We're here to celebrate that Trakr's legacy lives on in these five beautiful puppies," he told reporters. "If they have the same attributes Trakr did, then hopefully they'll develop into world class search and rescue dogs."

Symington and Trakr arrived at the site of the World Trade Center collapse, commonly referred to as Ground Zero, on September 12, 2001 and were one of the first K9 search and rescue teams on the scene.

After working nearly non-stop for 48 hours, Trakr located the last human survivor found in the rubble of the twin towers.

"Trakr was an extraordinary search and rescue dog. His work at Ground Zero was the culmination of his career," Symington said.

BioArts International, which says it offers the world's first commercial dog cloning service, partnered with South Korea's SooAm Biotech Research Foundation to clone Trakr under the direction of scientist Hwang Woo-Suk.
BioArts International chief executive Lou Hawthorne said canine cloning would remain beyond the reach of ordinary pet lovers, with cloned dogs costing an average 144,000 dollars each.

Hawthorne defended the right of people to clone their dogs instead of obtaining new pets from rescue shelters.
"I think 99 percent of the time people should get their pets from shelters," he told AFP.

"But can we agree though that one percent of the time if you have a one in a million dog and you have the money to pay for it, you should be able to go to either a breeder or a cloner?"

Hawthorne said Trakr had been chosen for cloning because of his heroics on 9/11. "We received many very touching submissions to our contest, describing some truly amazing dogs," he said. "But Trakr's story blew us away."

Symington meanwhile said that one member of his new litter -- Trustt -- was an exact replica of Trakr.
"The physical similarities are uncanny," he told AFP. "He's the spitting image of the Trakr that I first met in 1995. He has exactly the same markings, the way he moves, everything. Very alert, very intelligent and intuitive.
"I respect that cloning's not for everyone. But there are few dogs that are born with extraordinary abilities and Trakr was one of those dogs," he said.
"I look forward to the day that these puppies can follow in Trakr's footsteps and play an important role in other rescues, like Trakr did."

(c) 2009 AFP

Article from: PhysOrg.com


Watch CBS Videos Online

Video from: CBSNews.com



Related Articles
DNA: Yes, Snuppy is definitely a clone
Couple welcomes home cloned dog
SKorean experts claim to have cloned glowing dogs
Scientists hope to clone extinct species
Company offers to clone dogs for 5 highest bidders


Latest News from our Front Page

CDC official called Obama 'Marxist,' 'amateur' over border surge...
2015-07-08 0:28
Following the influx of illegal immigrant minors from Central America, an official at the federal agency charged with protecting public health describes Barack Obama as "the worst pres we have ever had," an “amateur" and "Marxist," according to internal emails obtained by Judicial Watch. JW got the records as part of an investigation into the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) activation ...
Obama Administration Likely to Block New Redskins Stadium
2015-07-07 23:03
The Obama administration will likely block Washington, D.C., authorities from building a new stadium for the NFL’s Washington Redskins because of objections to the team’s name. The National Park Service (NPS) owns the land under the 54-year-old Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium, a venue two miles east of the Capitol that hosted the Redskins from 1961 to 1996. Some city leaders ...
Safe spaces, white tears and getting kicked out of a women's group - by two men
2015-07-07 21:37
Lately I've been kicked out of a couple of groups I belong to, for daring to question received wisdom or refusing to go along with the rules of identity politics. For instance, I was thrown out my university women's group -- by two men! -- for questioning an article on Jezebel about "cultural appropriation." They explained that the group was supposed to ...
Ghost rider in the sky: Scientists use lasers to project movie onto clouds
2015-07-07 20:08
A green ghost rider appeared in the sky over the British city of Nottingham when scientists started testing a newly developed projecting device which allows the beaming of moving images directly onto clouds for the first time ever. The image of a galloping horse rider was projected onto the clouds from a distance of 50 meters by a special laser-based projection ...
China’s stock market is crashing, and the Chinese are trying to do the exact same thing America did in 1929
2015-07-07 19:36
‘While European attention is focused on Greece, China is having a serious market meltdown. After exploding earlier in the year because of deregulation, China’s benchmark Shanghai Composite has collapsed a crazy 29% since the highs of early June. China’s other stock markets have had similarly steep falls. Bloomberg notes that the crisis is closely mirroring the 1929 Wall Street crash, which led ...
More News »