Sir Lancelot Encore spent his first Florida night in the master bedroom – with nine other dogs, various cats and two humans – oblivious to the sensation he'd caused this week.
The 10-week-old golden Labrador retriever is a clone, created in South Korea by a California biotech firm from the DNA of the first Sir Lancelot, beloved pet of Ed and Nina Otto of Boca Raton.
The original “Lancy” died, at age 11, in January 2008.
A celebrity from the moment he bounded off an American Airlines flight Monday night at Miami Airport, Lancy redux “very quickly integrated into the menagerie and held his own,” said Lou Hawthorne, CEO of BioArts, the firm that auctioned off five dog-cloning procedures in July.
The Ottos spent $155,000 to win the procedure.
“He's a spunky little critter,” Hawthorne said. “He was nipping and stealing things.”
The Ottos say he is the first single-birth, commercially cloned puppy in the U.S. Ed Otto calls himself a “serial entrepreneur.” His father, the late Edward Otto, cofounded both NASCAR and the Orange Bowl where, in the 1930s, he staged motorcycle races.
Money wasn't an issue when they heard about the auction. Indeed, the Ottos had cryogenically banked DNA samples from Lancelot five years earlier, hoping that someday they would be able to do what they finally did.
BioArts teamed with Dr. Hwang Woo-suk, a scientist with South Korea's Sooam Biotech Research Foundation, to produce the dog.
Woo-suk took an egg from what Hawthorne called “an indigenous Korean dog” resembling a bloodhound, replaced the egg's innards with the late Lancelot's DNA, then implanted the egg in a second Korean dog.