30,000 years ago a baby mammoth died and was frozen in permafrost during the ice age. Recently, a miner found the mummified woolly mammoth in the Trʼondëk Hwëchʼin Traditional Territory of Yukon, Canada. The mammoth was named Nun cho ga by the territory elders, which means "big baby animal" and is the most intact and complete mammoth ever found.
Dr. Grant Zazula, a paleontologist working for the Yukon government, said that this is the single "most important discovery in paleontology in North America."
Zazula speculates that the young mammoth most likely wandered off from its mother and got stuck in the mud where the miner discovered it thousands of years later.
Being part of the recovery of Nun cho ga, the baby woolly mammoth found in the permafrost in the Klondike this week (on Solstice and Indigenous Peoples’ Day!), was the most exciting scientific thing I have ever been part of, bar none. https://t.co/WnGoSo8hPkpic.twitter.com/JLD0isNk8Y— Prof Dan Shugar (@WaterSHEDLab) June 24, 2022
A professor from the University of Calgary, Dan Shugar, said that "this is the most exciting scientific discovery he's ever been a part of."
He commented on just how perfectly the animal was preserved, saying it still had intact toenails, hide, hair, trunk, and even intestines filled with grass.
The Yukon is apparently full of undiscovered fossilized creatures from the past, however, due to the serious weather conditions and unexplored areas, many of them go undiscovered.
Mammoths have been extinct for around 4,000 years. They used to roam the Yukon along with many other species that did not survive the ice age. Early humans would hunt the mammoths and use their bones and tusks for tools and weapons.
This is an amazing discovery for the scientific community to understand the different flora and fauna of prehistoric times, and to gain a closer understanding of how our early ancestors lived.