Following the discovery of a 30,000-year-old mummified infant woolly mammoth on 21 June, 2022, in Canada's Yukon Territory, visitors are flocking to the region to embark on adventures of the prehistoric kind.
The near-complete baby mammoth, named Nun cho ga ('big baby animal' in Hn language) by Trondëk Hwëchin Elders, was discovered by gold miners in the Klondike goldfields, in Trondëk Hwëchin Traditional Territory.
The Yukon, in Canada's north-west, is rich in ice age era fossils and a renowned global leader for ice age and Beringia research, but mummified remains with skin and hair are rarely unearthed. Nun cho ga is the most complete mummified mammoth found in North America.
Visitors to the Yukon's capital city of Whitehorse can step back tens of thousands of years, to the incredible and bizarre world of ice age Yukon, at the Beringia Interpretive Centre, offering a window into the Yukon's unique history.
Visitors can eyeball life-like dioramas of a scimitar cat, American lion, giant short-faced bear, and the immense woolly mammoth. Marvel at the Yukon Horse display containing 26,000-year-old remains and learn about the First People who crossed the Beringia land bridge.
The story of how many of these remains were found is as fascinating as the fossils themselves. When the Klondike Gold Rush brought miners to the Yukon, stories of giant beasts unearthed began to spread.
To this day, with the help of local miners and First Nations, more treasures of the Yukon's distant past are being recovered every year, telling the story of a world quite unlike the Yukon you see today. In fact, more mummified creatures are likely to be found in the future, preserved in the permafrost, as miners continue to dig for gold.
The Centre offers a stunning replica of the famous Bluefish Caves archaeological site, where the jawbone of an ancient Yukon horse was discovered, believed to be around 24,000 years old. Consisting of three caves, located near the Old Crow community, the first contained various animal bones that were dragged there by predators, as well as tools that indicate a human presence.
Murals and dioramas depict Beringia's landscapes, floras and faunas. The Centre also features films, guided tours, original works of art, and exhibits of discovered remains from throughout the Yukon, all contributing to a better understanding of the long lost sub-continent of Beringia.
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