Lee Rannals for redOrbit.com
A man in Iowa has discovered the remains of a woolly mammoth that laid to rest thousands of years ago in his backyard.
The man, identified only as John, said that one of his sons found something while walking in the forest behind their property in 2010, and John realized that the object was a bone.
“I got down on my hands and knees on the bank, and I could see a marrow line around the edge of this, and I said, ℠Boys, that´s a bone. That´s a really big bone,” John told ABC5-WOI.
The report said that John just recently brought the bone to the University of Iowa where it was identified as the femur of a woolly mammoth.
Volunteers from the University of Iowa and Iowa State University have found the mammoth’s feet bones and thoracic ribs so far, and they are continuing the backyard excavation this weekend.
Those involved in the excavation believe that they are just weeks away from uncovering the mammoth’s head.
Sarah Horgen, the university´s Museum of Natural History education coordinator, said the mammoth went extinct by the end of the last ice age, and is at least 12,000 years old.
“It´s pretty exciting — partially because the mammoth is being discovered where it died,” Horgen told the New York Daily News. “We know that because we´re finding very large bones right alongside very small bones.”
The bones belong to John since they were found on his property, but having to tote them around from room to room at his house can be difficult.
“Sometimes I get tired of moving bones around from one spot to the other,” he told ABC5.
He said he wasn’t quite sure what he plans to do with them once they are all uncovered. “Build another room off the side of the home and put it together? I don’t know, I haven’t decided yet,” he told the news station.
Woolly mammoths have been discovered increasingly across the world, including a juvenile mammoth that was found perfectly preserved.
The Siberian mammoth, nicknamed “Yuka” in a BBC documentary, has hair still intact, as well as its footpads.
Scientists in South Korea’s Sooam Biotech Research Foundation announced plans earlier this year to attempt to clone a mammoth.
Until mammoths are walking around again in abundance, John will most likely be the only person to have one lying in his backyard.