Puppies are 'designer' animals bred by South Korean cloning laboratory, but they flunked test in 13 simple skills for Russian police dogs.
The cloned creatures seem incapable of performing basic tasks required by dogs working for the police or security services. Picture: Vadim Skryabin/NEFU
The dogs were a gift from leading international cloning expert Dr Hwang Woo Suk to law enforcement in Yakutia, the region where he is separately seeking the remains of extinct woolly mammoths preserved in permafrost, with a view to bringing the giant species back to life.
But there are two problems with the cloned Belgian Malinois animals, each valued at $100,000.
They are not adapted to the extreme cold in Yakutia - also known as the Sakha Republic - and despite being the laboratory-engineered offspring of the best Korean sniffer dogs, the cloned creatures seem incapable of performing basic tasks required by dogs working for the police or security services.
Two of three dogs gifted by the cloning guru were put through their paces in Yakutsk, the regional capital.
They are not adapted to the extreme cold in Yakutia - also known as the Sakha Republic. Picture: Vadim Skryabin/NEFU
Aleksey Kolmogorov, deputy head of the canine service of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, said: 'One of them failed to perform any task. Immediately, it lay down because of the cold.
'The second dog was slightly better, but completed only 50% of tasks. They are not adapted to our harsh conditions, they are smooth coated, cannot withstand frost.'
Spokesperson for the ministry, Maria Mironova, confirmed: 'The cloned dog did not pass the control test of our canine service.'
Dogs that fail in one or two tasks can do a retest. But only accomplishing half the tasks is considered a failure. It is unclear what will happen to the dogs now. Officially, they are in the care of the All-Russian Military-Historical Society
The dogs arrived in Yakutsk in November, and were unveiled at the city's Mammoth Museum, which is at the forefront of efforts to clone the woolly mammoth and bring it back to life.
The dogs were unveiled at the city's Mammoth Museum, which is at the forefront of efforts to clone the woolly mammoth and bring it back to life. Pictures: Vadim Skryabin/NEFU, The Siberian Times
Director Semyon Grigoryev said at the time: 'These dogs have been recreated from the cells of the best Korean sniffer dogs, inheriting their unique abilities. They will be the first cloned service dogs in Russia.'
They are among 500 cloned puppies from the Sooam Biotech laboratories in Seoul, the world's first animal cloning centre.
'These dogs are very young, in Korea they went though a basic training, so handlers here will decide what best to choose for them depending on their abilities and talents,' said Dr Grigoryev.
'So far, they understand orders in Korean but experts say they will soon pick up their new language.' Pictures: Semyon Grigoryev
'The military-historical society works in co-operation with Russian police and special services, and provides dogs as ordered. I know that the society's trainers are usually most keen on explosive sniffers, so I would guess this is the field where the cloned dogs will be used.'
He also warned that it may take the dogs sometime to understand instructions in Russian.
'The dogs' first task will be language retraining,' he said. 'So far, they understand orders in Korean but experts say they will soon pick up their new language.'
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