Baby Woolly Mammoth Travels to Hong Kong

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A 42-thousand-year-old baby wooly mammoth arrives in Hong Kong as part of an Asian Tour. The mammoth was discovered in Russia five years ago and will tour several Asian countries.

A 42-thousand-year-old female woolly mammoth - named Lyuba - has arrived in Hong Kong for the first leg of her Asian tour.

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It is thought that Lyuba was one-month old when she met with her untimely death.

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Although slightly the worse for wear in that her tail and one ear has been chewed, she is - in the main -- almost intact.

Curator of the Shemanovsky Museum, Galina Karzanova explains,

[Galina Karzanova, Curator, Shemanovsky Museum]:
"Lyuba has a trunk and it is almost intact and this is the most fragile part of a mammoth, so she's very rare because she has the trunk. Also her ears are more or less still there. Her skin is intact which is very rare, and what is most important for scientists are her inner organs her intestines, her insides are more or less there."

It is thought that the Nenet tribe believe mammoths to be from an underground spirit world and that they bring bad luck to those who encounter them.

Despite this unease, Khudi realised how beautifully preserved the mammoth was and recognised the importance of having to travel a very long distance to hand it over to scientists for research.

Scientists have utilised state-of-the-art scanning technology to image food remains and have extracted teeth and taken tissue samples in order to determine age and health. Karzanova added,

[Galina Karzanova, Curator, Shemanovsky Museum]:
"Scientists took samples of Lyuba's internal organs and preserved them so they can do more research in the future."

After a month in Hong Kong Lyuba will travel to Macao, China, Indonesia and Singapore before ending the tour in Taiwan in 2013.

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