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China's first cloned police dog reports for duty in Kunming

(People's Daily Online)    17:05, March 21, 2019

China’s first cloned police dog Kunxun plays with a researcher at a Beijing-based company. (Science and Technology Daily/Hong Xing)

China’s first cloned police dog, a two-month-old Kunming wolfdog nicknamed Kunxun, reported for duty at the Kunming Police Dog Base in southwest China’s Yunnan province earlier this month, Science and Technology Daily reported Tuesday.

Kunxun was cloned from a seven-year-old female Kunming dog nicknamed Huahuangma serving in Yunnan’s Pu’er police station, who has assisted the police in multiple cases.

It usually takes four to five years and up to 500,000 yuan ($74,480) to train a dog like Huahuangma, so the police came up with the idea of cloning the dog to save time and money.

To clone Kunxun, a tiny piece of skin was taken from Huahuangma and sent to a laboratory in Beijing for cell cultivation, and later an embryo was grown and transplanted into a surrogate mother.

“The surrogate mother was a gentle beagle. To prevent obstructed labor and improve survival rate, we performed a cesarean section,” said technician Liu Xiaojuan.

A researcher conducts an experiment of nuclear transfer. (Science and Technology Daily/Hong Xing)

Kunxun weighed 540 grams and was 23 centimeters in length when she was born. Her DNA is 99.9 percent identical to Huahuangma's, according to a test by Nanchang Police Dog Base.

The project was conducted by Yunnan Agricultural University and Sinogene, a Beijing-based company specializing in cloning pets and animals for commercial use.

After arriving in Kunming, Kunxun has adjusted well. The dog is friendly, social and alert, said Wan Jiusheng, a researcher at the dog base.

The puppy is not scared of dark or unfamiliar places. It can quickly find hidden objects thanks to its strong sense of smell, and is also an excellent hunter, Wan added.

“Police dog cloning is still at an experimental stage. We hope in the next 10 years, when the technology is ready, we will be able to produce more exceptional police dogs,” Wan said. 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Xian Jiangnan, Bianji)

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