An 11-year-old boy in Russia has discovered a well-preserved carcass of a teenage mammoth in the permafrost in northern Siberia while walking his dogs in the area.
Zhenya Salinder found the 16-year-old mammoth, which measures two metres tall and weighs 500kgs, in late September when he spotted its limbs sticking out of the frozen mud.
Scientists have named the mammoth Jenya, after its discoverer and say it once roamed the Siberian tundra in search of fodder and females.
‘Possible human touch’
Professor Alexei Tikhonov of the Zoology Institute in St Petersburg announced the finding of the mammoth, which was excavated from the Siberian permafrost near the Sopochnaya Karga cape, 3,500km northeast of Moscow.
Tikhonov said it might have been killed by an Ice Age man on a summer day tens of thousands of years ago.
He told the AP news agency that Jenya was “pretty small for his age, But what killed Jenya was not his size but a missing left tusk that made him unfit for fights with other mammoths or human hunters who were settling the Siberian marshes and swamps some 20,000-30,000 years ago”.
The splits on Jenya’s remaining tusk show a “possible human touch,” he added.
Wooly mammoths are thought to have died out around 10,000 years ago, although scientists think small groups of them lived longer in Alaska and on Russia’s Wrangel Island off the Siberian coast.