An 11-year-old Russian boy, taking a stroll with his dog on Sopochnaya Cape in Taimir Peninsula, Siberia, stumbled upon a woolly carcass of a 16-year-old male mammoth that was possibly killed by humans tens of thousands of years ago.
Scientists are now lauding the find as one of the best preserved carcasses ever found in history.
Yevgeny Salinder, an ethnic Nenets boy, told his parents about the carcass, who informed polar explorers living on the Taimir Peninsula.
Scientists soon reached the spot to examine the 1/2-ton carcass, which has scraps of fur, plenty of flesh, an ear, a tusk, some bones, and an intact reproductive organ.
It took a week to dig the carcass out of the permafrost.
The mammoth, which will be unofficially called Zhenya (the diminutive form of Russian name Yevgeny), is supposed to have died about 30.000 years ago and was between 15 and 16 years of age.
Mammoths’ average life expectancy is of 60 to 80 years.
“This is the second best-preserved mammoth in history and the first find of such quality since 1901”, said Alexei Tikhonov, a specialist with the Mammoth Committee of the Russian Academy of Sciences.
In 1901, the first such well-preserved mammoth was discovered near Beryozovka River in Yakutia, he added.
“Officially, the animal will be known as the Sopkarginsky mammoth”, Tikhonov said.
According to media reports, the mammoth carcass will be transported to the Krasnoyarsk region and from there, to researchers in Moscow.
The carcass will be put on display at the Taimir Regional Studies Museum.