This once-in-a-lifetime find was the result of the collaborative efforts of a gold miner, a First Nation, a skilled paleontologist, and a territory.
Dr. Grant Zazula, a paleontologist who works for the Yukon government, says he doesn’t know how to figure it all out right now. In his opinion, it’s really remarkable.
On June 21, National Indigenous Peoples Day, a teenage miner could be seen working away in Eureka Creek, Yukon, south of Dawson City. He was using a front-end loader at the time to remove mud from the stream when he discovered the find.
He eventually came to a halt and phoned his supervisor, who then showed up quickly. The operation was halted as soon as Brian McCaughan from Treadstone Mining arrived.
In less than thirty minutes, a photograph of the discovery was sent to Zazula.
According to Zazula, the paleontological find made by the miner was the most significant one ever made in North America.
It was a full-grown baby woolly mammoth that had just been born. In addition to that, it was the second wooly mammoth that was ever found anywhere on the globe. According to Zazula, this is the very first instance of its kind that has ever been uncovered in North America.
Zazula claims to have found her trunk. She possesses her tail. Her ears are relatively tiny in proportion to the rest of her head. The tip of her trunk had a prehensile structure, so she could use it to grab a handful of grass.
According to Zazula, she is gorgeous and perfect in every way.
The year 1999 marked the beginning of paleontologists’ investigation into the Yukon Ice Age.
Zazula has had a lifelong desire to meet someone in person and now has the chance to do so. Just this recent week, that long-cherished dream came true.
The Trondk Hwchin saw the finding as being both momentous and exciting in equal measure. It was on his property that a baby woolly mammoth was found.
Debbie Nagano now serves in the role of director of the legacy for the administration of Trondk Hwchin. He says that the older people and a large number of the staff and members are very enthusiastic.
Experts believe that the woolly mammoth would have gotten lost in a storm.
Every year, Yukoners are given the day off to celebrate Indigenous Peoples Day. Therefore, as soon as Zazula got the email, he made an attempt to get in contact with any people of Dawson City that he could identify who may be able to provide a helping hand.
The baby woolly mammoth was discovered in the creek by two geologists, one from the Yukon Geological Survey and the other from the University of Calgary. They were also able to undertake a thorough geological investigation of the area because of the samples they gathered.
Zazula said the sky turned dark, lightning struck, and rain started pouring within an hour of their arrival. Therefore, the storm would have taken her away if she hadn’t been discovered at that precise time.
The storm would have taken her if she hadn’t been found at that moment.
In terms of size, the baby woolly mammoth, or Nun cho ga, measures around 140 cm in length. Compared to the second baby woolly mammoth discovered in Siberia, Russia, in May 2007, this one is somewhat longer. The Trondk Hwchin uses the Hän language, and the phrase “large baby animal” translates to “nun cho ga” in that language.
According to Zazula’s calculations, Nun cho ga was somewhere between 30 and 35 days old when she passed away. By analyzing the geology of the region, Zazula has determined that she died between 35,000 and 40,000 years ago.
According to Zazula, her body was found frozen in permafrost, indicating that she passed away during the most recent ice age.
According to what he told, the geologists who discovered her were able to see a bit of the animal’s gut that had grass on it. Zazula states that it reveals what she was doing in her last few seconds of life.
In his estimation, the baby mammoth had only gone a few paces from her mother. To survive, munched on some grass, she drank some water and eventually got stuck in the muck.
And, he noted, the move from being trapped in the mud to being buried happened extremely rapidly.
After Nun Cho Ga was freed from the mine, she was taken to a secluded spot for a celebration.
Once Nun Cho Ga had been rescued from the mine, she was carried to a special location for a ceremony.
A group of around 15 or 16 individuals, including some scientists, miners, politicians, and members of the Tr’ondk Hwch’in, gathered in a circle to worship as Nun cho ga was removed from its wrapping. The senior Tr’ondk Hwch’in was in charge of leading them.
According to Nagano, the elders have blessed the juvenile woolly mammoth because of its “very powerful” nature.
Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in elder Peggy Kormendy said that the removal of the tarp left her gasping for air.
She emphasized the need of showing proper respect for it at all times. When it does place, it will be revolutionary, and we will become better as a result.
McCaughan of Treadstone Mining asserts that there will be one moment in a person’s life that stands out, and he can guarantee that this will be that moment.
University of Alberta paleontologist Michael Caldwell, who wasn’t present, remarked on how incredible it was that such heartfelt tales had survived the ages.
It’s almost like a miracle from our own time that’s been kept intact. It’s also a thing of great beauty and a wealth of information for the scientific community.
He said that everyone who studies or works with fossils would find this fascinating, but that anybody who really studies or works with them would find it magnificent.
Zazula is still astonished by the revelation.
For things to really sink in, time must pass. And over those days, weeks, and months, they will be collaborating with Tr’ondk Hwch’in to figure out what they should do and what lessons they can draw from this experience.