A female wooly mammoth that died about 30,000 years ago was found in the Yukon in 2022. The baby was only 30 or 35 days old and ended up wholly preserved with some skin and hair. Scientists will extract DNA to compare to that of elephants.
She was found in the Klondike gold fields within Trʼondëk Hwëchʼin Traditional Territory. While excavating through the permafrost, miners working on Eureka Creek uncovered the frozen woolly mammoth. 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 animal baby” in the Hän language, Yukon reported.
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.
They were grazing animals and went extinct about 4,000 years ago.
Woolly mammoths roamed parts of Earth’s northern hemisphere for at least half a million years. They were still in their heyday 20,000 years ago, but within 10,000 years, they were reduced to isolated populations off the coasts of Siberia and Alaska.
One widely accepted theory is that fire and the development of tools, such as spears, hooks, and nets, helped humans become ace hunters, driving woolly mammoths, ground sloths, rhinoceros*, and other mammals into extinction.
The last population known from fossils remained on Wrangel Island in the Arctic Ocean until 4,000 years ago, well into the start of human civilization and concurrent with the construction of the Great Pyramid of ancient Egypt.
*There are only two species of rhinoceros left in the world: the white rhinoceros and the black rhinoceros. However, there used to be many more species of rhinoceros. Some extinct species include the woolly rhinoceros, the Indian rhinoceros, and the Javan rhinoceros. The woolly rhinoceros was the most common rhinoceros in Europe during the Ice Age. A lot of Rhinos are in danger now.