It’s no wonder he looks grumpy: ‘Hideous’ blobfish is crowned the world’s ugliest animal | Mail Online
It’s no wonder he looks grumpy: ‘Hideous’ blobfish is crowned the world’s ugliest animal
A living blob of jelly that dwells in the darkest depths of the ocean has been officially named the world’s ugliest animal.
The blobfish, described as ‘hideous’ by Simon Watt from the Ugly Animal Preservation Society, is a jelly-like fish that resembles a bald, grumpy old man.
Measuring up to a foot in length, it lives between 600 and 1,200 metres below the ocean surface off the coasts of Australia and Tasmania.
The blobfish, described as ‘hideous’ by Simon Watt from the Ugly Animal Preservation Society, measures up to a foot in length. It lives between 600 and 1,200 metres below the ocean surface off the coasts of Australia and Tasmania
Despite being completely inedible, it has a habit of being hauled up in trawler nets.
Experts believe the blobfish is under serious threat, although there are no reliable estimates of its numbers.
‘We’ve needed an ugly face for endangered animals for a long time,’ said Mr Watt, speaking at the British Festival of Science at the University of Newcastle.
The Axolotl, a freaky cross between Peter Pan and the Xmen, is endangered because of urbanisation in Mexico City and polluted waters
‘For too long the cute and fluffy animals have taken the limelight but now the blobfish will be a voice for the mingers who always get forgotten.’
The blobfish topped a shortlist of five ugly animals voted for online by members of the public.
In second place was the Kakapo, a critically endangered giant parrot from New Zealand, and number three was the Axolotl, a weird type of salamander from Mexico that is the equivalent of a giant tadpole.
Next on the list was the Titicaca water frog, aka the ‘scrotum frog’, which is only found in Lake Titicaca on the border of Peru and Bolivia.
The Titicaca frog, also known as the ‘scrotum frog’, is found on the border of Peru and Bolivia. Locals make a frappe of the frog, which is considered an aphrodisiac, by cooking it and running it through a blender
Kakapo is a classic example of evolution on an isolated island – it is the only flightless parrot in the world, and also the heaviest
The Proboscis monkey is named after its enormous nose
Locals make a frappe of the unfortunate frog, which is considered an aphrodisiac, by cooking it and running it through a blender.
The last ugly animal is the proboscis monkey, from Borneo, whose enormous nose is literally its hooter.
The nose provides a resonating echo chamber for the monkey’s deafening mating calls.
The Ugly Animal Preservation Society was set up to champion the cause of endangered creatures with no friends.
It is backed by a number of celebrity scientists, presenters and comedians, and organises road shows and school visits.
Particle physicist and broadcaster Professor Brian Cox said: ‘I support the ugly animal campaign. There are too many people trying to save cute animals. They get all the press, and all the attention.
‘Ugly animals are more deserving than cute animals.’
Describing the blobfish, Mr Watt said: ‘Indeed this is an ugly hideous thing. It looks sad and so it should, because it’s suffering from severe problems.
‘They’ve got a really gelatinous flesh that is slightly more buoyant than the water. So they float around and they can be right lazy.
‘They’ve got no muscle tone whatsoever because they don’t have to move. They just sit there looking unhappy, grabbing any food that comes by.
‘It’s the ultimate deep sea couch potato.’
MORE OF THE WORLD’S UGLIEST ANIMALS
European common eel
A favourite cockney snack, the European eel is threatened by overfishing and environmental changes. Its unusual life cycle sees it change colour as it grows, from transparent to yellow to dark grey.
Rob Wells (comedian and science presenter) – urges supporters to ‘support the eel so we can have a jolly good East End knees up in its honour!’
European common eel: A favourite cockney snack, the European eel is threatened by overfishing and environmental changes. Its unusual life cycle sees it change colour as it grows, from transparent to yellow to dark grey
Dromedary jumping slug
The dromedary jumping slug wriggles its way out of danger, avoiding predators with a quick flick. It’s part of the Aronidae family and lives mainly in the Americas.
Tom Toal (comedian and actor) thinks the slug deserves far more recognition than it currently gets… ‘It’s a slug, with a hump on its back, that can jump! Where’s its Disney movie?? You’ve got the Hunchback of Notre Dame… where’s the dromedary jumping slug and the princess?’
Dromedary jumping slug: The dromedary jumping slug wriggles its way out of danger, avoiding predators with a quick flick. It’s part of the Aronidae family and lives mainly in the Americas
Greater short-horned lizard
Stephen Fry is supporting this feisty little lizard, found in North America. The greater short-horned lizard is identified by its toad-like appearance. When scared, it builds its blood pressure near its eyes, and forces blood through its tear ducts, squirting it at predators. Combined with a noxious smell, the blood is a surprisingly effective method of repelling predators such as foxes, coyotes and dogs.
Great short horned lizard: Stephen Fry is supporting this feisty little lizard, found in North America. The greater short-horned lizard is identified by its toad-like appearance
The pig-nosed turtle is the sole surviving member of an ancient and once widespread family of animals. The most unique feature is the elongated, pig-like snout, which acts like a snorkel, allowing the turtle to breathe while the rest of the body remains underwater (perhaps so it never has to show the world its ugly face?).
Greg Foot (daredevil scientist and C4 Sunday Brunch’s ‘resident scientist’) says: ‘Forget your big cuddly attention grabbing pandas. It’s time for something else to step up into the limelight, well, I guess something to swim up in this case! Yes, it is the pig-nosed turtle… so there you go – the pig-nosed turtle. Vote now! It’s quite clear it’s got to be the pig-nosed turtle. No longer does he need to be bullied in the animal playground, he can now stand there with his piggy snouty nose raised up high.’
Pig-nosed turtle: The most unique feature of the animal is the elongated, pig-like snout, which acts like a snorkel, allowing the turtle to breathe while the rest of the body remains underwater
Pubic lice have been around for over 3 million years but face extinction because of increasing hygiene habits across the world. They live in coarse hair and eyelashes.
Dan Schreiber (producer, presenter and from QI Elf) explains why he has sympathy for these particularly unattractive beasts… ‘So many women worldwide are having Brazilians that they don’t have a natural habitat to exist on anymore… they’re being deforested!’
Pubic louse: Pubic lice have been around for over 3 million years but face extinction because of increasing hygiene habits across the world. They live in coarse hair and eyelashes
There are 18 varieties of bat in the UK, and most are in national decline. Seventeen of these are currently known to be breeding, the eighteenth is actually just one lone male who appears to have come over from the continent and lives in a cave in South England on his own. Bats make up over a quarter of the mammal species that live in the UK and can often be found near railway lines, as they like to use the tunnels as roosting areas, and short cuts to other hunting grounds.
Simon Watt sympathises with these species: ‘Bats are brilliant, if you cannot see all the reasons British bats are fantastic, you must be as blind as a, well, as a bat actually!’
Simon Watt sympathises with these species: ‘Bats are brilliant, if you cannot see all the reasons British bats are fantastic, you must be as blind as a, well, as a bat actually!’
You’ve bitten off more than you can chew! Lion cub causes uproar… by chomping on its dad in a bid to make him play
This is the moment an attention seeking cub annoyed his father once too often.
The cheeky cub can be seen tugging on his father’s mane, chewing on his fur and even smacking him on the end of the nose in a bid to entice him to play.
But while the father initially returned his son’s affections, he soon lost patience with the playful cub and snapped – baring his teeth at the startled cub.
I warned you, boy… Luke the lion makes it clear he has had enough of his son’s fun and games
The images were taken by photographer Paul Sutherland, 54, at the National Zoological Park in Washington, Columbia, US.
He said: ‘I’m connected with a number of people at the zoo and they invited me to come along when the lion cubs were born.
‘Having been an editorial photographer I like to create images which tell a story or send a message.
‘I spent a lot of time photographing the cubs, I went whenever I could. Every time the cubs came out there was a question mark over what they would do.
The cheeky cub can be seen tugging on his father’s mane, chewing on his fur and even smacking him on the end of the nose
So much for my lie-in: Luke’s nap is a no-no as far as the youngster is concerned
Seriously, son, take the hint: Luke looks like he is enjoying a cuddle…but that out-stretched paw is getting ready to swipe
‘When the adult male lion, Luke, is in the yard the cubs come out with the female lions.
‘Interestingly many of the cubs head straight for dad, they’re like "hey dad look at me".
‘The cubs would jump on Luke to try and get his attention, just being playful really.
‘But if Luke is grumpy he’ll roar and as he does the mother lion gives him a telling off. He’s a bit of a wimp compared to other lions so if he gets a telling off he’ll tolerate the cubs a little longer.
‘They would get five to ten minutes’ interaction with dad before he would get tired and there’d be a roar.
‘And if one of the cubs would make the mistake of grabbing his tail, Luke would get really angry.
‘It’s really just nature in action. Humans do it too. You annoy your dad that much, he’ll snap and be like "that’s enough".’
Right, that’s it! The cub takes a bite out of Luke’s chin… and he’s not happy about it
Fine, I’ll leave you alone! The cub retreats to safety… still with a look of mischief about it
TV reptile expert Mark O’Shea rushed to hospital after being bitten by deadly cobra
World-renowned reptile expert and TV wildlife personality Mark O’Shea had to be airlifted to hospital – after being bitten by a killer King Cobra.
Snake enthusiast O’Shea, 56, had a lucky escape after the massive 10ft (3m) reptile clamped its jaws around his leg at West Midlands Safari Park on Sunday afternoon.
The deadly cobra – whose venom is strong enough to kill an elephant – dug its fangs into the reptile curator’s leg during a routine feed.
First aid staff armed with life-saving anti-venom rushed to O’Shea’s aid due to fears that the deadly poison had entered his bloodstream.
But thanks to their quick thinking paramedics arrived to find him suffering no serious effects from the bite.
O’Shea – best known as the presenter of the Discovery Channel series ‘O’Shea’s Big Adventure’ and Channel 4’s ‘O’Shea’s Dangerous Reptiles’ - was airlifted to Worcester Royal Hospital where his condition was yesterday described as "stable".
He was expected to be discharged from hospital this afternoon.
Speaking from his hospital bed yesterday, O’Shea played down the bite from the king cobra - the world’s longest venomous snake – and described it as "just a nick."
He said: "It was an accident. It was just a nick really.
"Sometimes there are accidents at work but it’s just these sort of ones are a lot more interesting to people.
"It was a lucky escape. I would class any snake bite that doesn’t cause a serious injury to be a lucky escape. I won’t lie, it did hurt a bit.
"We are going to have a full investigation but it was just an accident. I’m hoping to be out of hospital soon."
Bob Lawrence, head keeper at West Midland Safari Park, added: "The animal was being fed behind closed doors. He’s lucky. He has had a few encounters before but he is fine.
"It is very, very rare that these things ever happen.
"Working with animals like this always carries hazards with it, but we have safety measures in place."
Mr Lawrence said the safari park stored anti-venom for all of its poisonous animals, and routinely rehearsed such situations with local hospitals.
West Midlands Ambulance Service said they received a call from the safari park at 4pm on Sunday and sent a doctor, an ambulance crew, a responder paramedic and the Midlands Air Ambulance to the scene.
A spokeswoman said: “When crews and the doctor arrived, they found one of the park’s snake handlers being cared for by their on-site first aiders.
"They had already immobilised the leg and administered excellent first aid.
“The man in his 50s had reportedly been bitten on the leg by a king cobra. The doctor assessed the man and found he was stable and suffering no serious effects from the bite.
“Due to the fact the venom can be lethal if it enters the bloodstream, the man was airlifted to Worcester Royal Hospital as a precaution.
"Medics at the hospital were pre-alerted to the arrival of the man who was said to be in a stable condition.”
It’s not the first time the daring reptile specialist has been attacked by a deadly snake.
In 1993 he nearly died when he was bitten by a canebrake rattlesnake – and he has since been on the receiving end of several other snakebites, spider bites and scorpion stings.
By Simon Garner | Yahoo! News – Mon, Aug 20, 2012
Orphaned kangaroo Anzac and wombat Peggy become best of friends
An orphaned kangaroo and wombat have found creature comfort with one another.
Anzac the joey and Peggy the wombat have become best friends after sharing a pouch together at the Wildlife Kilmore Rescue Centre in Victoria, Australia.
Orphans Anzac the kangaroo joey and Peggy the wombat
At just over five months old, Anzac was brought to the centre after being rescued in the Macedon Ranges. Missing his mum, Anzac was placed with wombat Peggy and the two now sleep together.
Worker Lisa Milligan said the unlikely friends are comforted by each other’s movement and heartbeat. She said: "There are lots of baby animals about at the moment, and they are orphaned for a range of reasons."
One of the reasons the lively duo get on so well is their similar personalities – with Anzac described as very social while Peggy is boisterous and cheeky.
The two have become close friends (Picture: Rex)
Cool of the wild: From sunhats to ice-cream, how animals around the world have taken tips from us to cope with the hot weather
By Nick Enoch
An ice lolly, a dip in the pool, deckchairs… when it comes to cooling off in the hot weather, these animals don’t play by the rules.
As Britain enjoys a heatwave, with the mercury hitting 27c (81f) today, these are just some of the cunning ways our furry friends cope.
And as the pictures below show, it’s not just those here who are feeling the heat – from China to Germany, Indonesia to the U.S., animals are scoffing at what they’ve seen in nature documentaries and trying something a little bit different…
Let sleeping dogs lie: Tara the dog opts for a sunbed and parasol to see her through the blistering heat in Britain
Bird bath with a difference: Jacquille the parrot cools down in a tea cup in Costa Rica
One cool dude: Dudu the walrus beats the summer heat in China, at Qingdao Polar Ocean World; right, a squirrel gets stuck into a frozen treat in Swindon, Wiltshire
I’ve got this licked: An African lion in Brookfield zoo, Chicago refreshes himself with a block of ice
Sealion solution: Keepers at Qingdao Polar Ocean World have come up with innovative ways to keep their animals cool; right, Eski the snowy owl could do with a towel in the New Forest, Hampshire
Flew what a scorcher! A tufted titmouse suns itself in Massachusetts
Spread the whirred: This chilled dog has found himself a new fan; right, Chino the donkey enjoys an ice-cream at Pennywell farm in Buckfastleigh, Devon
Furry nice! A squirrel takes a dip in a swimming pool in San Antonio, Texas
Does it come in banana flavour? A baboon enjoys an ice lolly at Hangzhou wild animal centre, China; right, a meerkat at Marwell Wildlife Conservation Park, Hants
To hell with the diet… An orangutan at Ragunan zoo in Jakarta, Indonesia
Just follow my lead: Harland the poodle on Southsea beach in Hampshire; right, a fur seal relaxes in Stromness, South Georgia Island
White tiger cubs Jeevan and Ashoka cool off in a paddling pool at a safari park in Germany
Trunks, glasses and parasol…this pooch looks good – and he knows it
I’ll be finished in about nine hours… A young gorilla chews on a block of ice containing fruit at Los Angeles Zoo
Do I look like I want to share? A ring-tailed lemur at Paradise Wildlife Park in Broxbourne, Herts
Pass the oinkment, dear: Some pigs tan themselves in Cambridgeshire
It’s bacon hot! A piglet falls asleep in a doll’s house deckchair
Baldness cure secret revealed by mice
By Kim Hookem-Smith
A tuft of hair grown on the back of a bald lab mouse may hold the key to curing baldness in humans.
A research team in Japan used stem cell cultivation to create hair follicles from scratch. These follicles were then implanted into the hairless mice where they grew hairs.
The stem cells were taken from a balding man and the next step is to implant the created follicles into a human head in order to win the battle against balding, experienced by more than seven million men in the UK.
The technique may also allow men to re-grow hair in their original colour, even if they’ve already started to go grey.
The researchers from Tokyo University believe a cure for baldness could be engineered within three years. It will be an expensive treatment, however, and they believe it could be more useful in reconstructive situations where traditional hair transplant operations aren’t possible.
And there’s more research to be done, as the team do not yet know if it would be possible to recreate an entire head of hair. In this study, the hairs had to be implanted one at a time, which is fine on a mouse but a rather different proposition on an entire bald head!
Play time for young and old! Polar bears from Canada to Norway caught mucking about in the snow | Mail Online
Play time for young and old! Polar bears caught mucking about in the snow after a long hibernation
By Lyle Brennan
Playfully clambering over their doting mother these polar bear cubs spring into action for the most sociable time of the year.
Across the polar regions from Norway to Canada these images show the intimate relationship between polar bear mothers and their young as they emerge from their winter hibernation.
Each winter females dig dens, where they give birth to their cubs – usually two, but sometimes as many as four.
All aboard: A female polar bear and her cubs play in the snow in Canada after a long winter’s rest in the den
Peek-a-boo: A cub takes shelter as it ventures out in Churchill, Canada
Making its own entertainment: Grappling with a birch tree in Canada
The timing of the birth is sometime during early winter, between December and January.
The snow den, the mother’s body heat and her milk, which is high in fat content, enable the cubs to keep warm and grow rapidly before leaving the den in March or April.
Short trips are made to and from the den for several days as the cubs get used to the outside temperatures. Then the family leaves and makes its way to the sea ice, where the mother teaches, hunts for and protects her cubs.
Gone fishing: Meanwhile in Norway a polar bear takes the plunge into icy waters in the hope of finding a bite to eat
After two years together, the family disperses and the cycle begins again.
But not before a bit of light play in the snow.
Photographers have spent hundreds of hours in the Arctic regions, photographing the amazing interactions from lounging around in the snow to diving head first into the icy waters looking for food.
Taking the weight off its paws: A polar bear stretches out on the snow in Churchill, Canada
‘The polar bear’s presence is entirely transitory, with photography dependent on accurate timing, the right weather and exceptional luck,’ said Steve.
‘Imagine a world without polar bears.
‘It seems unthinkable, yet as climate change gathers pace, the Arctic ice floes upon which the polar bear depends are beginning to break up.
Come here, you: Two polar bears nuzzle with each other in Churchill, Canada
‘In the years ahead, this could be catastrophic for this truly charismatic bear which, when it stands up, is taller than the largest elephant.
‘The irony is that the polar bear represents one of conservation’s greatest successes: thanks to an international convention controlling the hunting of the species.’
Little attention-seeker: A bear and her cub in a snow-covered forest in Canada
Bear hug: A show of affection in Churchill, Canada
Bravery of young mother who stayed by her horse’s side for three hours after getting trapped in mud ‘like quicksand’ | Mail Online
Race against the tide: Bravery of young mother who stayed by her horse’s side for THREE HOURS after getting trapped in mud ‘like quicksand’
This was the terrifying moment a brave young mother battled to keep her beloved horse calm as sea water closed in on the animal after he became trapped in mud ‘like quicksand’.
Exhausted and mud-splattered, Nicole Graham clung to her trapped horse Astro for three hours keeping his head high in a race against the tide.
The 78-stone show horse had sunk into quagmire-like mud and was facing the prospect of drowning as the water rose around them.
‘Like quicksand': Both Miss Graham and her horse were stuck up to their waists in the mud as the tide was closing in
Desperation: Nicole Graham comforts her 18-year-old show horse Astro after he gets stuck in coastal mud
Swallowed up: Astro was stuck fast and Miss Graham’s efforts to pull him free only resulted in herself sinking deeper into the quagmire
Miss Graham had been out on an afternoon ride with her daughter along the coast near Geelong, south of Melbourne, when 18-year-old Astro suddenly sank into the mud.
Before she could shout a warning, the smaller horse her daughter Paris was riding was also partially swallowed up by the mud.
After dragging herself through the mire, Miss Graham helped her daughter and the other horse on to firmer ground.
However, Astro was stuck fast and her efforts to pull him free only resulted in herself sinking deeper into the quagmire.
To the rescue: Vet Stacey Sullivan prepares to sedate Astro in a bid to get him out safely
Tidal terror: The brave mother tries to keep the horse calm as rescuers work how out to free the animal
Emotional: Miss Graham said it was heartbreaking to see her horse so exhausted and struggling
As Paris ran to their car and phoned for help, Miss Graham stayed at her horse’s side. She courageously clung on to his neck, terrified that he would not be freed before the tide came in.
After three ‘terrifying’ hours, rescuers managed to pull Astro and Miss Graham from the mud.
Miss Graham, who owns more than 10 horses and runs an equine dentistry business, told the Geelong Advertiser how a peaceful afternoon’s ride had turned to terror.
She said: ‘It was terrifying. It was also heartbreaking to see my horse exhausted and struggling.
Race against the tide: The water is seen getting closer to the horse as the group battles to free him
Stuck fast: Rescuers look for ways to free the stricken horse as time is slowly running out for him
Pulled free: Astro is dragged from the mud with the aid of a farmer’s tractor
‘We went straight down and under. There was mud everywhere and every time I moved it sucked me back down. It wouldn’t let us go.’
After ensuring her daughter and her horse were safe, she returned to Astro and prayed that rescuers would arrive before the tide engulfed the horse.
She added: ‘I’ve been riding here for 20 years and never had a drama. I’ve never seen any signs and didn’t realise it was so boggy.
‘When I saw the dust from the rescue trucks I was so relieved. I was starting to get overwhelmed.’
Fire lieutenant Roger Buckle, who was among a team of helpers, said: ‘It was like a quicksand.’
Fire crews worked with a local farmer, who provided a tractor, and a veterinary team. The firemen used hoses and a winch, but none of this equipment was successful.
Sedated and exhausted: Astro collapses on the ground after he is pulled free of the mud, to the relief of rescuers
Saved: Vet Stacey Sullivan helps Astro to his feet as the effects of the sedation wear off
A local helicopter was put on standby as a last resort at pulling Astro from the mud.
The combined rescue effort paid off. With minutes to spare before the water reached him, Astro – who had been sedated by vet Stacey Sullivan – was dragged from the mud with the aid of the farmer’s tractor.
‘It was a race against the tide and fortunately we won,’ said Lieut Buckle, who praised everyone efforts, including those of Miss Sullivan whose work in sedating Astro made it easier to pull him free.
Miss Sullivan said Astro was dehydrated but had coped well.
‘A lot of horses don’t make it and I think without the owner there the chance of survival would have been a lot lower,’ she said.
It’s all over: Miss Graham leads her horses away from the beach after the traumatic rescue
Aftermath: Astro and Miss Graham are led to safety after the drama. The vet said the horse may not have made it had it not been for the efforts of his owner.
That’s an idea worth floating: The amazing wildlife haven built on water designed to combat urban pollution
By Graham Smith
Wide open spaces in cities are becoming an increasingly scarce commodity as the world’s urban population continues to expand.
Now an architect has developed a floating park that is a haven for wildlife and will in turn address the rise in pollution.
Koen Olthuis, of Dutch firm Waterstudio, has unveiled the Sea Tree, a multi-tiered structure comprising of layered green habitats.
Urban future: The Sea Tree offshore nature park will be a haven for wildlife and will address the rise in pollution
The water-based park will provide valuable living areas for birds, bees, bats and other small animals, bringing positive green effects to urban environments.
It will also extend underwater, providing aquatic creatures with an environment to thrive.
Designed for use in cities with large waterways, such as London and New York, the Sea Trek will not be accessible to humans.
Mr Olthuis came up with the concept because it is so difficult to add extra park zones to a city on land. Open space such as rivers, seas, lakes and harbours should instead be utilised, he believes.
He proposes using offshore technology similar to oil rigs to construct the Sea Trees and has even suggested that oil companies donate them to cities to show ‘their concern for a better city environment’.
Anchored: The water-based park will provide valuable living areas for birds, bees, bats and other small animals, bringing positive green effects to urban environments. It will also provide a habitat for aquatic creatures
Eco-friendly: Designed for use in cities with large waterways, such as London and New York, the Sea Trek will not be accessible to humans
The giant floating towers would be moored to the seabed with underwater cables; the height and depth of the Sea Tree can be adjusted depending on the location.
Mr Olthuis said: ‘Underwater, the Sea Tree provides a habitat for small water creatures or even, when the climate allows for it, artificial coral reefs.
‘The beauty of the design is that it provides a solution and at the same time does not cost expensive space on land, while the effect of the species living in the sea tree will affect a zone of several miles around the moored location.’
Waterstudio claims the structure will be fully realised within two years and that an undisclosed client has already expressed a keen interest.
Positive effect: The Sea Tree will allow all sorts of wildlife to thrive in areas of cities where it previously was unable to do so
Above and below: Airborne creatures will occupy the top half of the Sea Tree, while underwater an aquatic environment will thrive
It mutt be love: Woman spends $50,000 to have her dog cloned after his death
A distraught dog lover had her beloved pet cloned so that she could be with him even after he had died.
New Yorker Danielle Tarantola paid an incredible $50,000 for the procedure using pet Trouble’s DNA to create another dog exactly the same as the first.
She named the new pup Double Trouble after she contacted the world’s only animal cloning company in South Korea.
Double Trouble: The cloned pup may only a few months old but already he is living the same life as Trouble, in this photo the little pup is dressed as an angel, complete with halo.
Clone ranger: Trouble dressed as an elf at Christmas time, his DNA has since been cloned by his New York owner
And she said of her new pooch: ‘I really can see no difference between them. So many of their gestures and the way they play is identical.’
Just a few months ago, the former Wall Street worker got a phone call from the company’s scientists informing her that the surrogate bitch carrying the embryos developed from Trouble’s DNA had been successfully impregnated.
Weeks later, the surrogate went into labour and Danielle watched the birth by webcam from her home in the U.S.
Danielle had been so upset by the death of her constant companion three years ago that she shelled out the massive fee so that she could have an identical replacement.
She said: ‘He was like the child I never had – and I probably did treat him better than most people treat their children.’
Beloved pet: Danielle Tarantola paid £32,000 to have Trouble cloned, she is pictured in her New York home with the massive portrait she had painted of him after his death
She even dressed the dog up in elaborate costumes which included a tuxedo for her wedding and an elf at Christmas.
After his death Danielle, who got Trouble as a pet when she was just 18, had a huge portrait of him painted on the wall of her home.
She still talked to him every day and even had his face printed on her pillowcases and bedspread to remind her of the pet she had lost.
Danielle first heard of the Asian cloning company in 2005 when Trouble was still alive.
She toyed with the idea of having the pet cloned while he was still with her so that he could meet the second dog.
But she decided against it and instead choose to have Trouble’s vet take a DNA sample during a routine check up.
Coverage: Danielle’s deal with a TV station meant that her incredible £32,000 fee was only half that originally quoted.
Doggy throne: Trouble’s comfortable bed, no expense spared for the little dog
She said: ‘Originally I wanted to clone Trouble in his lifetime as I would love to have seen how they interacted together. But in the end I waited – and Double Trouble is the result.
‘I know this isn’t for everyone but it was my decision and I’m incredibly happy with it. I can never replace Trouble but I love Double Trouble to pieces.
And she added: ‘Trouble loved to hide under the bed and then nip your feet when you came near and Double Trouble does that too.’
Danielle negotiated a reduced fee from the original $100,000 price tag for the operation after she secured TV coverage of her quest to replace Trouble.
The cloning of animals was first achieved in 1996 when researchers at the Roslin Institute in Scotland successfully produced Dolly the sheep.
The world’s first cloned mammal sparked huge debate and opened the door for researchers across the world to experiment in the controversial techniques.
Deer, cattle, dogs, cats and horses have since been cloned.
But the commercialisation of the process has sparked controversy.
John Woestendiek, the author of ‘Dog, Inc.’, a book about the dog cloning industry, says that the practice is centred in South Korea because there are much lower ethical standards for the treatment of dogs than in Europe and the United States.
‘You can rent [dogs] from farmers for the laboratory and, hopefully, everything goes OK, return them to the farmer, but everything’s not going to go OK.’
The author says that some of the dogs used in the cloning process as egg donors or surrogate mothers are later sent back to the farms where they are killed and eaten.
In South Korea, dogs are raised on farms for their meat.
Last updated at 3:48 PM on 12th January 2012