The Jarkov Mammoth

In Khatanga the locals say that it was the Mammoth that put their town on the map.

In Autumn of 1997 a local Dolgan boy, Kostan Jarkov, spotted a large tusk protruding from the Tundra near Khatanga.

Around this time, a Frenchman , Bernard Buigues was operating a tourist Arctic business, Cerpolex, doing tours to the North Pole from Khatanga. Bernard heard about the find and immediately took an interest . He delayed his return to Paris in October of that year in order to have a closer look. With a hair dryer he began to melt an area around the permafrost and found hair attached to skin and of course the two large tusks.

He returned the following year with ground penetrating radar and discovered a completely intact adult Mammoth. A rare find.

There was huge interest in the find and over the following two years, he and his team excavated a 23 ton block of permafrost containing the Mammoth and transported it by helicopter, into a cave specially cut into the permafrost under Khatanga .

We were given a tour of the frozen laboratory by Bernard who painstakingly

works away on the hundreds of tusks and bones on these extinct animals.

At the end of the cave in a separate chamber there was the frozen block containing the Jarkov Mammoth. Two 9 foot long tusks weighing 100 lbs each protruded from the block. We got to see and feel the skin and hair of this mighty creature that died about 23000 years ago.

At the end of the Ice Age, the denuded marshes and loose sand became a death trap for these huge animals reaching 9 feet at the shoulder.

By the early 20th century the remains of 50000 Mammoths have been taken from Siberia.The last known Woolly Mammoth to have roamed the Earth was in Wrangle Island a mere 3700 years ago.

We hope the Jarkov Mammoth will indeed bring prosperity to Khatanga.


Mick At Entrance to Mammoth

The Mammoth Men

Thawing out Mammoth