Nun cho ga, the baby woolly mammoth of the Yukon, was said to have been protected from the weather by a storm

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Nun cho ga, the baby woolly mammoth of the Yukon, was said to have been protected from the weather by a storm

Nun cho ga was blessed by the Trʼondëk Hwëchʼin First Nation the day after its discovery.

Baby Woolly Mammoth Found in Yukon Goldfields, Eureka Creek Mine Site, in Perfect Preservation Condition, May Be Explained to Being Buried in Short Storm after his death, according to experts.

Nun cho ga, which means baby large animal in the Han language, died between 30,000 and 35,000 years ago on the shores of 'a river. What made it famous when it emerged from the permafrost on June 21 was the fact that it survived decades underground so well.

According to scientists, the reason for such a state of conservation is that a storm probably buried it quickly, protecting it from the elements and other animals.

The Yukon Geological Survey geologist Jeff Bond was in Dawson on the day of the discovery with a group of researchers from the University of Calgary. He was contacted by Grant Zazula, the Yukon government paleontologist, asking him to go to the site to retrieve the famous baby woolly mammoth and transport it to cold storage.

Yukon Geological Survey geologist Jeff Bond visited Nun cho ga just hours after its discovery.

Jeff Bond did not expect to discover such a well-preserved animal. He started taking samples of sediment and hair from the area where Nun cho ga was found, among other things, until the sky reminded him that it was time to leave and bring the animal back to safety. A storm was heading towards the mine.

We get violent thunderstorms from time to time in the Klondike, for sure, but this was bad. another level, he acknowledges.

Lightning was pounding around us, said Brian McCaughan, owner of Treadstone Equipment, the company working at the Eureka Creek mine site. It was unreal. I called my team back, we stopped everything. It was raining so much, I don't know how long, but we were soaked.

Nun cho ga was discovered at the Eureka Creek mine site.

Jeff Bond and his team then decided not to delay and to leave as quickly as possible, in full storm, en route to Dawson. In a way, I think Nun cho ga was talking to us, he says.

“I I thought about the meaning of this storm. It was a message to tell us to get on our way, to get the mammoth back to safety as quickly as possible, where we could put it in cold storage. »

—Yukon Geological Survey Geologist Jeff Bond

At the time of the discovery, Debbie Nagano, Heritage Director for the Trʼondëk Hwëchʼin First Nation, arranged for the discovery. which will be baptized Nun cho ga. She brought the elders and council together to consult on the way forward. As a find of this kind had never been made on their land, the elders decided that it must be blessed.

The next day, Nun cho ga was taken out of the cold room where she was to be introduced to elders, youth, Chief Roberta Joseph and Yukon government officials.

Nun cho ga is the first whole baby woolly mammoth found in North America and the second in the world. Its trunk, ears and tail have been well preserved.

It was very emotional, says Debbie Nagano. She explains that everyone was silent for at least four to five minutes before starting the ceremony.

Nun cho ga should stay on the lands she has occupied for thousands of years , on the traditional territory of the Trʼondëk Hwëchʼin.

According to Debbie Nagano, the first step towards a long-term plan for the future of Nun cho ga will be to obtain direction from the First Nation's Chief and Council, as well as their elders, before working with other people. ;other partners. Many stakeholders will be involved in the discussion and we hope to find some very good solutions and a different way of working together, she says.

We have time to talk about it and come up with a plan together,” says Brian Groves, senior heritage manager for the Yukon government. This reminds us that Nun cho ga had already been waiting for a long time and that, therefore, there is no hurry with regard to his future.

With information from Mike Rudyk and Michel Proulx

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