“Only half of the animal’s body was exposed from the snow.The skin looked like leather, completely hairless; I had never seen anything like it. I immediately took a photo and sent it to the park ranger, together we then notified the Department of Cultural Heritage.” –Hermann Oberlechner
Science Times reports champion skier Hermann Oberlechner found a 400-year-old chamois, a member of the goat-antelope species, while hiking in the Italian Alps. Oberlechner was on a six-hour hike in Val Aurina when he stumbled upon the perfectly preserved carcass at 10,500 feet.
The mummified chamois carefully transferred to a specially built case and airlifted to Eurac Research’s conservation lab in Bolzano, Italy for further observation and study.
“Our goal is to use scientific data to develop a globally valid conservation protocol for ice mummies. This is the first time an animal mummy has been used in this way.” –Director of the Institute for Mummy Studies at Eurac Research Albert Zink
Scientists are looking to examine the 400-year-old chamois, hoping to learn how to better preserve ancient DNA samples for laboratory analysis.
Photo : Esercito Italiano – Comando Truppe Alpine