Gold miners in the Canadian Yukon territory have discovered a mummified, mostly intact body of a baby woolly mammoth.

 

Photo by Ross Stone on Unsplash
Photo by Ross Stone on Unsplash
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Intact Woolly Mammoth Found

While digging through permafrost, the gold miners uncovered something they were certainly not expecting, according to a government press release. The baby mammoth was found in the Klondike gold fields in the traditional territory of the Trʼondëk Hwëchʼin people.

Elders of the Trʼondëk Hwëchʼin community have named the mammoth Nun cho ga, or “big baby animal” in their language.

With much of its hair and skin still intact, it makes it a remarkable find, as its preservation is much better than most other woolly mammoth finds. In fact, the release describes it as the “first near complete and best-preserved mummified woolly mammoth found in North America.”

Government paleontologist Dr. Grant Zazula called the discovery “one of the most incredible mummified ice age animals ever discovered in the world.”

“There will be one thing that stands out in a person’s entire life and I can guarantee you this is my one thing,” said Brian McCaughan of Treadstone Mining.

And now for what you've been waiting for. Photos of the incredible discovery:

 

When Did the Woolly Mammoth Go Extinct

There's been debate among scientists as to when exactly the woolly mammoth went extinct, with some estimating that they died out about 4,300 years ago. If that's the case, they will have been alive during the construction of the Great Pyramid of Giza, around 2570 BC.

The massive mammals used to roam the grasslands of North America, growing as big as a modern-day African elephant, which they are related to.

Ancient humans depicted them in cave drawings, as well as hunted them for food and used their tusks for tools.

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