MOSCOW (Reuters) - A reindeer herder in Russia’s Arctic has stumbled on the pre-historic remains of a baby woolly mammoth poking out of the permafrost, local officials said on Friday.
The herder said the carcass was as perfectly preserved as the 40,000-year-old mammoth calf Lyuba discovered in the same remote region four years ago, authorities said, adding that an expedition had set off hoping to confirm the “sensational” find.
“If it is true what is said about how it is preserved, this will be another sensation of global significance,” expedition leader Natalia Fyodorova said in a statement on the Arctic Yamalo-Nenetsk region’s official website.
Scientists planned to fly the mammoth’s remains to the regional capital Salekhard, where it would be stored in a cooler to prevent the remains from decomposing.
Giant woolly mammoths have been extinct since the Earth’s last Ice Age 1.8 million to around 11,500 years ago.
Scientists worldwide were stunned by the discovery of Lyuba, named after the wife of the hunter who discovered her.
Arctic ice kept the extinct specimen so immaculately preserved that although her shaggy coat was gone, her skin and internal organs were intact.
Reporting by Alissa de Carbonnel