57,000-Year-Old Wolf Pup Mummy Found Frozen in Yukon, Canada

A 57,000-year-old wolf mummy named Zhùr has researchers writing about the mysteries of her short puppy life.

The wolf pup was found perfectly preserved in permafrost in Yukon, Canada, according to a news release from Des Moines University. The pup was named Zhùr, meaning ‘wolf’ in the Hän language, by the local Tr’ondëk Hwëch’in people. The team’s findings were published Monday in the journal Current Biology.

“She was found in the summer of 2016, in July, by a gold miner in the Yukon. They mine for gold by shooting a water cannon at these giant permafrost cliffs. Instead of gold falling out, this little frozen puppy fell out,” said Julie Meachen, an associate professor of anatomy at Des Moines University. Meachen served as the lead author on the paper and co-lead researcher on the wolf mummy project.

Researchers from the Yukon Beringia Interpretive Centre and University of California Santa Cruz also contributed to studying the 57,000-year-old wolf mummy.

“She is the most complete and the oldest mummy of a wolf that has ever been found,” Meachen said. “It’s really rare, actually, to have these kind of mummies in North America. They’re much more common from Siberia.”

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SOURCE: USA Today; Des Moines Register, Samantha Hernandez