The Government of Yukon, Canada recently published a joint press release with the Trʼondëk Hwëchʼin First Nation about a newly-discovered baby woolly mammoth.
The mammoth was found in the Klondike gold fields by miners excavating near Eureka Creek. Experts believe that the body has been preserved in permafrost for over 30,00 years.
The mammoth is believed to be female and has been affectionately named Nun cho ga by the Trʼondëk Hwëchʼin people. The name translates to “big baby animal”.
Nun cho ga is the first near complete mummified woolly mammoth discovered in North America, and the best example since Lyuba was discovered in Siberia in 2007.
Being part of the recovery of Nun cho ga, the baby woolly mammoth found in the permafrost in the Klondike this week (on Solstice and Indigenous Peoples’ Day!), was the most exciting scientific thing I have ever been part of, bar none. https://t.co/WnGoSo8hPk pic.twitter.com/JLD0isNk8Y
— Prof Dan Shugar (@WaterSHEDLab) June 24, 2022
Keep reading for the press release below:
“This is a joint news release with Trʼondëk Hwëchʼin.
On June 21, 2022, a near complete, mummified baby woolly mammoth was found in the Klondike gold fields within Trʼondëk Hwëchʼin Traditional Territory. Miners working on Eureka Creek uncovered the frozen woolly mammoth while excavating through the permafrost. This is a significant discovery for Trʼondëk Hwëchʼin and the Government of Yukon. Trʼondëk Hwëchʼin Elders named the mammoth calf Nun cho ga, meaning “big baby animal” in the Hän language.
The Yukon has a world-renowned fossil record of ice age animals, but mummified remains with skin and hair are rarely unearthed. Nun cho ga is the most complete mummified mammoth found in North America.
This recovery could not have happened without the collaboration between Brian McCaughan of Treadstone Mining, Trʼondëk Hwëchʼin and the Government of Yukon. In the months to come, Trʼondëk Hwëchʼin and the Government of Yukon will work together to respectfully preserve and learn more about Nun cho ga and share these stories and information with the community of Dawson City, residents of the Yukon and the global scientific community.Quick facts
- A quick examination of the woolly mammoth suggests she is female and roughly the same size as the 42,000 year old infant mummy woolly mammoth “Lyuba” discovered in Siberia in 2007.
- Geologists from the Yukon Geological Survey and University of Calgary who recovered the frozen mammoth on site suggest that Nun cho ga died and was frozen in permafrost during the ice age, over 30,000 years old.
- These amazing ice age remains provide an extremely detailed glimpse into a time when Nun cho ga roamed the Yukon along side wild horses, cave lions and giant steppe bison.
- The discovery of Nun cho ga marks the first near complete and best-preserved mummified woolly mammoth found in North America. A partial mammoth calf, named Effie, was found in 1948 at a gold mine in interior Alaska.
- The successful recovery of the Nun cho ga was possible because of the partnership between miners, Trʼondëk Hwëchʼin and the Government of Yukon’s Department of Environment, Yukon Geological Survey, and Yukon Palaeontology Program.”