DOLLY the sheep has been “restuffed” and refrozen as part of the preparations for her 20th birthday party.
The world’s first mammal cloned from an adult cell, Dolly made international headlines following her birth on July 5, 1996.
Dolly was stuffed and put on display in the National Museum of Scotland (NMS) following her death in 2003.
Ahead of 20th anniversary events next week, bosses at the museum decided to give the world’s most famous sheep a spruce-up.
A source close to the restoration project revealed: “She was going through taxidermy to get rid of any bugs or pestcides that may have made their way in.
“Dolly’s been off display for a year and a half so has been spruced up.
“She’s been going under some conservation and gone into a freezer for a while and will be back on display next Friday to mark the week of her 20th anniversary since her birth.”
Dolly, who herself gave birth to six “normal” lambs, had to be put down after developing progressive lung disease and severe arthritis.
Just hours after her death, the NMS began taxidermy on Dolly in order to preserve her body to be put on display to the public.
Sir Ian Wilmut, who led the team which created Dolly, wrote in a book about the original process.
He wrote: “Her skin was pickled and tanned to preserve it, then her hide was stretched over a fibreglass mould of her body, and glass eyes were inserted.
“Her nose and other muscles were fashioned from Plasticine and her stuffed body was eventually put on display at the museum, mounted on a straw-covered plinth.”
Professor Wilmut took Dolly’s 20th anniversary of her birth to call for the creation of a worldwide bank of induced pluripotent stem cells (IPS cells), which he believes could make a “huge contribution” to the treatment of diseases like Parkinson’s and motor neurone disease (MND).
Sadly, during her short life Dolly was put on anti inflammatories to help ease the pain of her arthritis.
But the research that created her led to other successful cloning processes including bulls, horses, deer and pigs.