A man herding reindeer in Russia's Arctic stumbled upon the pre-historic remains of a baby woolly mammoth jutting out of the permafrost.

The discovery was made in the same remote region a mammoth calf dubbed Lyuba was found four years ago, authorities told Reuters, noting that an expedition had set off in hopes of confirming the find.

In a statement on the Arctic Yamalo-Nenetsk region's official Web site, expedition leader Natalia Fyodorova said:

If it is true what is said about how it is preserved, this will be another sensation of global significance.

Officials in the Yamalo-Nenetsk region said on Friday that the herder reported the carcass was as perfectly preserved as the 40,000-year-old mammoth calf, Lyuba.

Scientists plan to airlift the mammoth's remains to Salekhard, the regional capital. There, the body will be stored in a cooler to prevent decomposition.

The find of Lyuba, named after the wife of the hunter who discovered her four years ago, stunned scientists worldwide. The Arctic ice had kept the extinct specimen so perfectly preserved that, although her coat was gone, her skin and internal organs remained intact.

The giant woolly mammoths have been extinct since the earth's last Ice Age 1.8 million to roughly 11,500 years ago. The creatures, who are believed to be most directly related to the Asian elephant, grew to as much as ten feet tall and weighed up to eight tons.

At one time, the mammoths walked alongside humans and Neanderthals.

Some scientists believe that it could be possible to bring the beast back from extinction if enough well-preserved genetic material can be extracted from a carcass.


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