Cloned Pets: Looks Can Be Deceiving

Reddell and her husband Ralph Fisher run a company from their South Texas ranch called Ralph Fisher's Photo Animals that provides live animals to events like state fairs that people can be photographed with.

For years, thousands of people lined up and stood in front of a Texas state flag to take pictures with Chance, a Brahmin bull with meter-long horns.

Soon before Chance died in 1998 at age 21, scientists at Texas A & M University offered to clone the rare breed of bull.

Reddell and Fisher jumped at the opportunity, and a year later Second Chance was born.

He looked like Chance, he ate like Chance, he even slept in the same spot under Chance's favorite tree -- but something was different.

"He looked exactly the same," Reddell said. "Chance did things very uniquely. When you feed most cattle, they'll bury their faces in the feed bucket or trough and just keep it there. Chance always put his head in the bucket, got a big mouthful and the raised his head up in the air and closed his eyes, and would just savor the sweetfeed. Second Chance ate exactly the same way.

"It really raised the hair on the back of your head, how much they looked and sometimes acted alike," she said.

The couple hoped to Second Chance would take his namesake's place on the photo line, posing for pictures, but the young bull was not nearly as docile as his Chance, twice putting Fisher in the hospital.

On its first birthday, Chance threw Fisher up in the air and few years later gored him with his horns.

"We did everything we could to make Second Chance as similar as possible to Chance," Reddell said. "We wanted him to be the same, but there are no guarantees."

Second Chance died last year at age 8 of a stomach malady that vets do not believe was related to his being a clone. Fisher did not get Chance until he was 7 and has maintained that the even the docile steer may have been just as dangerous a youngster as his clone.

"We felt so blessed when Second Chance dropped in our laps," she said. "Even though he put Ralph in the hospital twice, he always came out OK. We never thought Second Chance would die."

"When he died the second time, it was just as bad as when he died the first time," she added. "It never occurred to us that we'd lose him again."

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