A whole baby woolly mammoth has been found frozen in the permafrost of north-western Canada – the first such discovery in North America.
The mummified ice age mammoth is thought to be more than 30,000 years old. It was found by gold miners in Yukon’s Klondike region on Tuesday.
The area of the find belongs to the Tr’ondek Hwech’in First Nation.
The Yukon government compared it to Russia’s discovery of a baby mammoth in the permafrost of Siberia in 2007.
It said it was “the most complete mummified mammoth found in North America”, and only the second such find in the world.
The baby, thought to be female, has been named Nun cho ga, meaning “big baby animal” in the Han language spoken by Native Americans in the area.
“Nun cho ga is beautiful and one of the most incredible mummified ice age animals ever discovered in the world,” said Yukon palaeontologist Grant Zazula.
It is about the same size as the Siberian baby Lyuba found in 2007, which was some 42,000 years old, the Yukon government said in a press release.
It is the best-preserved woolly mammoth discovered in North America. The partial remains of a mammoth calf, named Effie, were found in 1948 at a gold mine in neighbouring Alaska.
CBC News says Nun cho ga was unearthed after a miner called his boss over to examine something that was hit by his bulldozer in the mud at Eureka Creek, south of Dawson City.