Home / NEWS / Jurassic Park Just Got Real: Now Scientists Have Brought 28,000-Year-Old Woolly Mammoth Cells Back to Life

Jurassic Park Just Got Real: Now Scientists Have Brought 28,000-Year-Old Woolly Mammoth Cells Back to Life

By Andrew Alpin, 14 July 2022

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4 Besides this specimen, another well-preserved baby woolly mammoth was found in Yukno’s permanent ice

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A well-preserved baby woolly mammoth from 30,000 years ago was also discovered recently this year in Yukon’s permanent ice. It is helping to mend fences between the Tr’ondk Hwch’in and the miners and scientists who came to their land.

The specimen was named Nun Cho ga, which in the Han language means “big baby animal,” and was found to be surprisingly intact. The trunk, ears, and tail of little Nun cho ga, the baby woolly mammoth, are almost as good as they were when it was alive.

Besides this specimen, another well-preserved baby woolly mammoth was found in Yukno’s permanent ice

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5 Nun cho ga was discovered by a miner named Travis Mudry

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Travis Mudry, a miner in Canada’s Yukon territory who worked in the Klondike goldfields, cut into a wall of permafrost, or permanently frozen earth, on a rainy June morning. A big piece of frozen earth suddenly fell off the wall. Along with the mud, the remains of a dark, shiny animal with short legs came to the surface. Mudry thought he had found a mummified baby buffalo, so he started to look at it. He looked at its skin, fur, and a small tail. And then he saw a trunk.

Mudry called his boss, Brian McCaughan, who is the general manager and chief operating officer of Treadstone Equipment, a family-owned gold mining company. After inspecting the baby animal, which was so well-preserved that it almost looked like it had just died, McCaughan told everyone to stop working immediately. He took pictures of the find and started talking to experts about it.

Nun cho ga was discovered by a miner named Travis Mudry

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6 Nun cho ga was found in Yukon’s Eureka Creek

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On Eureka Creek in the Yukon Klondike Placer Miner’s Association was where Nun Cho ga was found. Thirty minutes after being discovered, the paleontologist for the Yukon government, Grant Zazula, opened an email with a picture of the frozen woolly mammoth- the most complete woolly mammoth ever found in North America to date. Zazula says, “She’s beautiful, one of the most incredible mummified Ice Age animals ever discovered in the world.”

Nun cho ga was found in Yukon’s Eureka Creek

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7 The task of retrieving the mammoth specimen was difficult since it was a holiday

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June 21 was National Indigenous Peoples Day, which is a legal holiday in the Yukon. Zazula was in Whitehorse, about six hours from where the gold was found in Eureka Creek, just south of Dawson City.

Zazula turned to two geologists to recover the mammoth, one with the Yukon Geological Survey and another with the University of Calgary. They ran to the creek, looked around, and got the body parts in less than an hour before a storm hit. Zazula stated, “If she wasn’t recovered at that time, she would have been lost in the storm.”

The task of retrieving the mammoth specimen was difficult since it was a holiday

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