It sounds like science fiction, but Barbra Streisand wasn't kidding when she revealed in an interview with "Variety" that she cloned her dog.
The feature article about Streisand in Variety was meant to be all about the singer/actor's role in fighting Hollywood's sexism and dealing with politics in the spotlight, but an off-topic comment about her dogs is what's catching everyone's attention.
During the interview, while she answered questions about President Trump and the #MeToo movement, Streisand casually revealed that two of her three dogs, Miss Violet and Miss Scarlett, are actually clones to her beloved dog Samantha, a Coton du Tulear breed, that passed away in 2017.
Before Streisand's original dog died, the actress best known for "Funny Girl" asked veterinarians to collect cells from the Samantha's mouth and stomach. She then used those cells and hired a group of scientists to clone Samantha. And she didn't only do it once, she did it twice. The cloning was deemed a success, and Streisand now has two genetic Tulear dog replicas running around her feet.
In the interview with Variety, Streisand said Violet and Scarlet so far have different personalities. She needs to dress the identical twins in different colored sweaters to tell them apart, but they behave like normal puppies. She also said she's looking forward to when they're older so she can compare them to her beloved Samantha. She hopes the clones have Samantha's cute brown eyes and serious personality.
Believe it or not, Streisand's two clones aren't the first dogs created at the hands of science. Dolly the Sheep was the first mammal to be cloned back in 1996, and since then, at least two dozen other animals of varying species have been created. Most of the dog cloning happens in South Korea with the first cloned dog born in 2005.
New York Times reports it took nearly three years of work, 1,000 eggs and genetic material, and help from a surrogate mother Labrador Retriever to bring the cloned Afghan Hound named Snuppy (Seoul National University puppy) to life.
Cloning a dog isn't cheap, and it's thought that Streisand had to pay at least $50,000 for each of her cuddly clones. The third dog in Streisand's trio of canines is also of close relation to the late Samantha. Miss Fanny is a distant cousin of sorts to the late dog and her two clones. It's clear Samantha the beloved pet had a huge impact on her famous owner, and now she's living on in a big way.
The news has angered animal advocates, including PETA. They told Page Six:
"[W]hen you consider that millions of wonderful adoptable dogs are languishing in animal shelters every year or dying in terrifying ways when abandoned, you realize that cloning adds to the homeless-animal population crisis."
What do you think about Barbra Streisand cloning her dogs? Let us know in the comments.
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