The Yukon government says a mummified baby woolly mammoth has been found in the Klondike gold fields.
The animal was found within Trʼondëk Hwëchʼin Traditional Territory earlier this week and is the most complete and best-preserved mammoth found in North America to date.
The territory says miners working on Eureka Creek uncovered the animal while excavating permafrost and early examinations suggest it is female.
Geologists from the Yukon Geological Survey and University of Calgary who recovered the mammoth suggest it died and was frozen during the ice age, more than 30,000 years ago.
Trʼondëk Hwëchʼin elders have named the mammoth calf Nun cho ga, meaning “big baby animal.”
“This is a remarkable recovery for our First Nation, and we look forward to collaborating with the Yukon government on the next steps in the process for moving forward with these remains in a way that honours our traditions, culture, and laws,” says Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in Chief Roberta Joseph.
Ice age paleontologist Grant Zazula says it has been his lifelong dream to “come face to face with a real woolly mammoth” and he is excited to find out more about the animal.
Experts suggest that the Nun cho ga is female and roughly the same size as a 42,000 year old infant mummy woolly mammoth that was discovered in Siberia back in 2007.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 24, 2022.