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Karen’s Critters: Visiting an Old Friend

Make that a very old friend. About 42,000 years old. I fell in love with woolly mammoths two decades ago while visiting the Mammoth Site in South Dakota. These huge animals are similar to elephants, yet brown and woolly. That equals love in my book. Too bad I was born way too late to ever […]

Make that a very old friend. About 42,000 years old.

I fell in love with woolly mammoths two decades ago while visiting the Mammoth Site in South Dakota. These huge animals are similar to elephants, yet brown and woolly. That equals love in my book. Too bad I was born way too late to ever meet these critters in person. I had only ever seen their bones (at the Mammoth Site and the Milwaukee Public Museum) and enjoyed imagined recreations (like this one in Spain).

Until now. Chris, Angie, Ken, and I split up to explore the cavernous Hong Kong Museum of History. Becoming numb after reading far too many panel explanations, I took a seat outside. There I saw the poster, “I Love Lyuba, Baby Mammoth of the Ice Age Exhibition, Hong Kong Science Museum.”

Wow, I thought, I would love to go there, if I weren’t museumed out. Wait a minute… the science museum is directly across the courtyard from where I’m sitting? And admission is free? I grabbed Ken and set my weary legs into motion, eager to see Lyuba for myself.

Lyuba was a baby woolly mammoth, roaming a mud pond in Siberia. Although she met death far too quickly, she preserved herself well in that mud pond and is now one of the world’s best-preserved mammoths.

Lyuba's stomping grounds

She really is quite a specimen, so well-preserved by the frozen ice and mud. Scientists worldwide are delighted by the chance to study this animal in detail, as never before possible. Tourists seem to like her too.

Perhaps one day they can create a clone, and I can fulfill a dream of walking the earth with these incredible critters?

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