Thursday, 22 September 2011

Animal survivors - tales of dogs, pigs and clones

Here’s a strong contender for this year’s most bizarre disaster story.     Chinese scientists have cloned a wonder pig that survived the Sichuan earthquake of 2008, which killed more than 90,000 people.

 Zhu Jiangqiang, or "Strong-Willed Pig", survived in his sty under the rubble for 36 days on a diet of charcoal and rainwater.    Scientists in the city of Shenzhen have cloned six piglets from his DNA.    They are all said to look like him, with a distinctive birthmark between the eyes.   It’s planned to send them off to a museum and a genetic institute.

During the Japanese tsunami in March, as the owners of a pet dachshund prepared to seek safety in the hills inland, the terrified dog raced off towards the sea.    They were heart-broken and assumed that was the last they would see of him.

But a week later, he was found safe a mile inland.   How did he survive?    No one knows.


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