Boy Finds Rare Mammoth Carcass in Northern Russia

Oct. 05 2012 — 00:00

An 11-year-old boy discovered a mammoth carcass in the northern reaches of the Krasnoyarsk region in what scientists are calling one of the best-preserved specimens ever found.

After making the discovery, young Yevgeny Salinder told his parents, who then informed polar explorers living on the icy Taimir Peninsula where the discovery was made, the Taimirsky Dolgano-Nenetsky district administration said in a statement Thursday.

Scientists soon arrived to examine the 1/2-ton carcass, on which scraps of fur, flesh, fat and internal organs remained intact, but it took a week to dig the carcass out of the permafrost. It was not immediately clear when the mammoth was found.

The mammoth, which will be unofficially called Zhenya, the diminutive form of the Russian name Yevgeny, is supposed to have died roughly 30,000 years ago at between 15 and 16 years of age.

Alexei Tikhonov, a mammoth specialist with the Russian Academy of Sciences, told journalists that the last time such a well-preserved mammoth was found in Russia was in 1901, also in the Krasnoyarsk region, but much farther south, according to the statement.

The carcass will become an exhibit at the Taimir Regional Studies Museum, but museum staff have agreed to allow scientists from zoological and paleontological institutes in Moscow and St. Petersburg to study the mammoth first.

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