SINGAPORE: In July this year, a clone pet dog finally “returned” to Singapore.
The cloned dog named Khan, the same name as the first dog used for cloning, belongs to vet Dr Jean-Paul Ly.
Dr Ly was heartbroken when the first Khan died in August 2021. It had accompanied the veteran vet for 18 years.
He was deeply saddened after its death and missed him day and night.
When Khan died, a piece of him died with him and he wanted to see Khan again.
Seven to eight months before Khan died, Dr Ly took the dog’s skin cells and had the sample frozen.
“I’m so sad that I have to spend money to clone one. I was so sad,” he told Singapore Chinese media Lianhe Zaobao.
Khan was cloned at an overseas facility, Sinogene, a Chinese company that made the headlines in 2019 when it produced China’s first cloned cat.
The price tag for cloning at the Beijing facility was about US$50,000.
“It does not matter whether it is S$50,000 or S$70,000 for the cloning, I will pay for Khan to come back” he said.
Dr Ly said one-year-old Khan is lovely and active, it is an Australian Cattle Dog breed.
“The little Khan and the old Khan was almost identical except for the colour markings on the torso, in particular, its familiarity with the owner and the way it looks at people, are the traits most identical to the old Khan.
“The degree of similarity is beyond my expectation. At the same time, it also breaks the misunderstanding that cloning a pet is just a copy of the body without the continuation of its previous memory,” he said.
Dr Ly was amazed as the dog looked like an old friend he had not seen for a long time,
“We seem to have known each other for a long time,” he said.
In Singapore, some vets reportedly have seen clients who want to take skin samples of their pets in case they want to clone them in future. But it is not apparent that any clients have gone ahead with the cloning.