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30000 Year Old Baby Mammoth Discovered by Gold Miner in Yakon

The baby woolly mammoth in situ Government of Yukon
The baby woolly mammoth in situ ( Credit: Government of Yukon via Smithstonian Magazine)

Let’s discover the incredible find of a 30000-year-old baby woolly mammoth, perfectly preserved in Yukon’s permafrost.

This extraordinary find enriches our understanding of Ice Age fauna and symbolizes a step towards reconciling relationships among the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in people, miners, and scientists.

The Discovery of Nun Cho ga

Nun cho ga
Members of the Trʼondëk Hwëchʼin First Nation, the Yukon government, Treadstone Mine and University of Calgary with Nun cho ga (Credit: Government of Yukon via Smithstonian Magazine)

On a routine day in June, Travis Mudry’s mining operation inadvertently revealed more than just gold. 

Cutting into a permafrost wall, Mudry found the mummified remains of Nun cho ga, a baby woolly mammoth

The state of preservation was so exceptional that it looked almost alive. This discovery halted the mining operations, and experts were immediately contacted to examine the find.

A Bridge Between Worlds

30000 Old Baby Mammoth
The trunk, ears and tail of this baby woolly mammoth, named Nun cho ga, are almost perfectly preserved. (Credit: Government of Yukon via Smithstonian Magazine)

Nun cho ga translates to “big baby animal” in the Hän language. 

Her discovery on National Indigenous Peoples Day underlines the importance of recognizing the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in’s stewardship over their lands. 

A ceremony involving scientists, miners, and Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in elders highlighted this shared respect. This was to bless Nun Cho ga and set a precedent for future discoveries.

Insights Into the Ice Age

baby mammoth
Baby mammoth generated using DALLE-E by Linnea for AATG.

Nun cho ga provides invaluable insights into the Ice Age ecosystem. 

Her remains include soft tissues such as skin and fur, which offer clues about her diet, habitat, and the climatic conditions of her time. 

A Catalyst for Healing

The baby woolly mammoth in situ Government of Yukon
The baby woolly mammoth in situ ( Credit: Government of Yukon via Smithstonian Magazine)

Furthermore, Nun Cho Ga’s discovery represents a moment of healing. The collaboration between the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in, miners, and scientists in handling Nun Cho ga’s remains showcases a commitment to honoring the traditions and culture of the First Nation people. 

This collaborative spirit is a promising step towards mending the rifts of the past and moving forward together.

The Future of Nun cho ga

Mammoth family
Mammoth family generated by DALLE-E by Linnea for AATG.

In conclusion, the journey of Nun Cho Ga is far from over. 

In my opinion, the inspiring part about this story is that scientists seek the wisdom of the Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in elders in the pursuit of unpacking the unknown. 

Hence, this approach ensures that Nun cho ga is not just viewed as a scientific specimen but as a bridge between cultures.

Her discovery invites us to reflect on our relationship with history, the environment, and each other.

Let me know what you thought about this 30000 year old baby mammoth in the comments!

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