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Two cloned dogs start work guarding prisoners in Siberia

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Designer animals bred by South Korean cloning laboratory showed skills 'beyond all expectations' in their first three weeks with the penal service, reported The Siberian Times (Russia).

The dogs Tom and Jack 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.

They will patrol the grounds of the labour camp, where the 720 male inmates include murderers, rapists, burglars and fraudsters.

Earlier the Belgian Malinois pair were reported to have flunked a test to join the police, but at the time they were puppies and still adapting to the Siberian climate.

Now the Yakutian Republican Penal Service has expressed delight at the arrival of their new dogs where they have achieved results 'beyond all expectations'.

The animals - the first cloned service dogs in Russia - have shown their ability to follow the trail of a would-be escapee, and local objects and people by smell.

They also coped well with a canine obstacle course.

Tom and Jack were cloned from the cells of 'the best Korean sniffer dogs' and are said now to be 'easily adapting to the environment, with temperatures this week nudging minus 40C.

Irina Babikova, senior dog instructor at the labour camp, said: 'These shepherd dogs are easily trained, they are smart and have a gentle nature.

'Another positive thing is that they are able to keep working without paying attention to the external distractions and weather conditions.

'We did not demand a lot from them, knowing that they have seen snow and experienced extremely low temperatures for the first time in their lives.

'We understood that they were in a state of shock and that we needed to wait and to be patient.

'But from day to day they demonstrated more and more signs of adaptation and socialisation, and in spite of cold they started successfully following the tasks of the training course.

'It was happening in the quite unusual conditions.

'And we have summer time ahead of us when they will demonstrate the maximum of their best qualities and abilities. I am very glad that we have got such helpers in our group.'

The animals are worth $100,000 each.

They are among 500 cloned puppies from the Sooam Biotech laboratories in Seoul, the world's first animal cloning centre.

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Tags: russia, Siberia
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