Reindeer Herders Stumble Upon Partially Intact Woolly Mammoth Skeleton In Siberia

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Varun Hukeri General Assignment & Analysis Reporter
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Scientists in Russia are working to retrieve the skeleton of a woolly mammoth from a lake in northern Siberia after the remains were found by local reindeer herders earlier this week.

Russian television footage released Friday showed the scientists looking for fragments of the skeleton along the shallows of Pechevalavato Lake in the Yamalo-Nenets autonomous region, the Associated Press reported. An initial excavation revealed part of the mammoth’s skull, the lower jaw, several ribs and part of a foot.

Stanislav Vanuito, head of the nearby Seyakha village, was in touch with the scientists and stated that reindeer herders have recently seen more fragments of mammoth bones around the village, The Siberian Times reported. The scientists were flown to the town of Salekhard to detail the remains and a second expedition is expected to do a full retrieval.

“According to the first information we have, the whole skeleton is there. Judging by the pictures this was a young mammoth, but we’ll have to wait for tests to give the exact age,” said Dmitry Frolov, director of the Arctic Research Center in the Yamalo-Nenets region.

Yevgeniya Khozyainova of the Shemanovsky Institute in Salekhard, during televised remarks Friday, said that retrieving the complete skeleton of a woolly mammoth is relatively rare, the Associated Press reported.

Woolly mammoths are thought to have died out between 10,500 and 7,600 years ago and mostly lived in Siberia and North America, according to Encyclopedia Britannica. (RELATED: Scientists Announce They Have A ‘High Chance’ Of Cloning A 43,000-Year-Old Woolly Mammoth)

One of the world’s best preserved mammoths was found in 2007 and is displayed at the Shemanovsky Institute, according to The Siberian Times.