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Thursday
Oct042012

Child Discovers Nearly Intact Woolly Mammoth in Russia

Photos.com/Thinkstock(MOSCOW) -- It was truly a mammoth discovery.

An 11-year-old boy in Russia’s far north has reportedly uncovered a nearly intact woolly mammoth, complete with fur, bones, flesh and layers of fat.  Scientists say they haven’t seen anything like it in over a hundred years.

According to The Moscow News, the frozen animal is a 500 kg beast.  What remains is the right half of the body, including a tusk. It was a male that died at around age 15 about 30,000 years ago and remained frozen in the permafrost ever since.  It reportedly took scientists a week to dig the body out using pickaxes and steam.

The discovery was made by a boy named Yevgeny Salinder, just a few kilometers away from the Sopkarga polar station where he lives with his family in Taymyr, Russia’s northernmost region.

According to The Moscow News the boy told his parents about what he’d found, and they reached out to scientists to confirm. They say they haven’t seen anything like this since another mammoth was discovered in Siberia in 1901. It’s said to be the second best preserved mammoth ever unearthed.

The frozen animal has been informally named Zhenya, after the boy’s nickname, but its official name is the Sopkarginsky mammoth.  It has since been transported to a larger town in the far north and will be studied by scientists.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio