Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (WiredPRNews.com) — Heroes can come in the smallest packages and for desperate victims of the 9/11 attacks, that hero came in the form of a German Shepard named Trackr. In a recent report from AFP.com, that canine used his amazing sense of smell to locate survivors from beneath the debris of New York’s fallen World Trade Center in 2001.
So what is better than a dog that sniffs out survivors from tragedy sites and rescues them to safety? Two of them, of course!
Trakr’s proud owner is James Symington, a retired Canadian police officer who now lives in Los Angeles. As one of the first search and rescue teams to arrive on the scene of the September 11 attacks, Symington and Trackr was the courageous duo who was responsible for finding the last human survivor under approximately 30 feet of rubble.
This valiant dog was hand picked by BioArts International “as the most ‘clone-worthy’ canine in a competition offering an owner a free chance to replicate their pet.” Seven years after the collapse of the iconic towers, Trackr is a 15-year old hero who was forced to put away his cape. Due to a degenerative neurological disorder, the pup no longer has use of his back legs had had to retire. Experts at BioArts attribute the condition to toxic smoke exposure at the Ground Zero site.
Symington, however, knows that his canine hero will now have the opportunity to live on and save more lives. “Trakr means the world to me,” he said. “To know that part of him is going to live on is just beyond words. It’s the greatest gift I’ve ever received.”
During the month of July, BioArts International will transport a sample of Trackr’s DNA to a lab of its partner in South Korea (Sooam Biotech Research Foundation), and the clone of the pooch could be available for service by the end of the year.
Wired Science & Technology Reporter