Boy On Holiday Finds Tooth Of Mammal That Went Extinct 4000 Years Ago
A woolly mammoth tooth has been found in Ohio but the extinct species could soon be listed as endangered in a bid to protect elephants from the ivory trade.
The furry-elephant-like species became extinct around 40,000 years ago, the National Geographic reporting the jury is still out on whether humans are to blame.
Despite this, woolly mammoth tusks are still being traded as “ice ivory” and it has serious consequences for modern day elephants.
It is known that humans are to blame for a decline in elephant numbers with the animal poached for their ivory that, in some cases, is passed off as ice ivory.
The World Wide Fund estimated that an African elephant is killed by poachers for its tusks every 25 minutes, while Asian elephant numbers have been cut in half over the last three generations.
However, their extinct relative could be about to make a resurgence that might help protect elephants from the ivory trade.
Israel has proposed that mammoths should be listed as an endangered species which could allow for better documentation surrounding ice ivory trading.
Currently there is almost no documentation or regulation for the mammoth ivory trade.
The change could be plausible by applying the look-alive provision which aims to protect a species if an endangered species is at risk due to its similarities.
Elephant and mammoth ivory is almost indistinguishable so while the ice ivory trade continues to be unregulated, elephants will likely be at risk.
It’s believed to be the first time a proposal has been put forward to list an extinct species as endangered.
The proposal will be considered by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora.
But for one 12-year-old boy, he's found his own piece of woolly history,
While out taking photos by a creek near an Ohio inn, Jackson Hepner uncovered the tooth of a woolly mammoth.
The Inn at Honey Run, in Millersburg, Ohio, confirmed the discovery last week.
"I found the mammoth tooth about ten yards upstream from the bridge we had our family pictures on," Jackson wrote in an account of the tooth's discovery that the Inn posted online.
"It was partially buried on the left side of the creek. It was completely out of the water on the creek bed."
Three scholars and professors identified the object as a woolly mammoth's upper third molar, the Inn said.
Jackson said he cannot wait to see the tooth again.
"I would like to have my tooth back in my hands as soon as possible," he wrote.
"I want to show my friends."