China’s first ever police dog clone has been unveiled, and it’s been hailed as the “Sherlock Holmes” of the canine world.
Police dogs are invaluable to police officers, and in a bid to slash training times and costs, scientists in China’s Yunnan province have taken a DNA sample from a 7-year-old police dog and produced a puppy.
Sky News reports that the cloned canine in question is a Kunming wolf dog puppy named Kunxun and was created from DNA taken from an old bitch named Huahuangma. The dog has won award after award for helping to crack multiple cases and has been previously described as “one in a thousand.” She is hailed as a dog apart when it comes to police work. She is so good at what she does, observers have described her as the “Sherlock Holmes” of police dogs.
Sherlock Holmes may be a fictional detective, but Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s sensational sleuth is the benchmark by which all other criminal investigators are measured, and so if you’re a criminal and there’s a bloodhound on your trail, the last thing you want it to be called is Sherlock.
According to project analyst Wan Jiusheng, the 3-month-old puppy is adjusting well to her new environment, and “she is friendly to humans, sociable, and alert.”
Wan added that the young pup is not intimidated by dark or unfamiliar places and has already developed a strong sense of smell, even quickly sniffing out hidden food.
Kunxun has already started basic training at the Police Dog base in Yunnan and will soon be taught in the ways of evidence detection, crowd control and security, and how to search for drugs.
To fully train a police dog can take up to five years. However, thanks to her genetic modification, Kunxun is expected to enter the force as a fully-trained police dog at 10-months-old.
Kunxun was produced after genetic material was taken from Huahuangma and transported to a Beijing laboratory. Using an egg from another dog, an embryo was engineered and implanted into a surrogate mother. The dog in question was a Beagle and to prevent complications, a cesarean section was carried out.
Beijing-based Sinogene Biotechnology Company and the Yunnan Agricultural University were responsible for the project, with support from the Ministry of Public Security.
The people behind the project now hope to achieve “volume production” of cloned police dogs. They are hopeful this will significantly reduce training times, but cloning costs continue to be problematic.