First Dog to become first Icelandic dog to be cloned
Former First Lady Dorrit Moussaieff with former First Dog Sámur, an Icelandic sheepdog.Sámur will become the first Icelandic pet to be cloned. mbl.is/Kristinn Ingvarsson
Former President of Iceland, Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson disclosed on morning show Morgunkaffið on Rás2 that former First Dog Sámur is to be cloned. Former First Lady Dorrit Moussaieff has sent a DNA sample from Sámur the dog to the USA where he will be cloned upon his death.
"Dorrit saw this bitch at a farm and really liked her, and realised that he was a very special breed," said Grímsson who told the radio station that he got his wife a dog because he loved her so much.
Ms. Moussaieff ended up getting a puppy from the bitch at the farm and named him Sámur. Grímsson says he was hesitant about the decision to have Sámur cloned and that it was entirely his wife's decision. He said that DNA samples from Sámur had been sent to Texas and that his cells could be cloned at any time.
"Sámur is quite old, he's eleven so Dorritt decided to have him cloned. There are two companies in the world who clone dogs, one in Texas and the other in South Korea," said Grímsson. "Dorritt decided that he will not be cloned until he dies. I'm not sure if he wil be the first Icelandic dog to be cloned."
Cloning a dog is very expensive, says biologist Arnar Pálsson at the University of Iceland, and it's not certain to succeed. Speaking to Morgunblaðið he says that it costs around six million Icelandic kronas to clone a dog and around three million ISK to clone a cat.
Pálsson furthermore stated that as far as he knows, this is the first Icelandic pet to be clonedþ