The Siberian mammoth on display in our state office atrium was dismantled yesterday and packed up for shipment to its new home [right, photo by Mike Conway, AZGS]. Lots of people stopped by to express their disappointment that it was leaving.
Since February, the 12,600 year old skeleton on loan to AZGS from the Natural History Museum in Novosibirsk, Russia, has become a popular fixture. Visitors to the state complex have been taken aback seeing the 12- foot tall fossil seemingly walking out from under the trees. Many came back with their kids in tow to see the mammoth and the adjacent woolly rhino.
One of the more surprised visitors was a prominent Tucson mineral and fossil dealer who had a client who happened to be looking for a mammoth. He contacted our Russian colleagues and arranged the purchase. The mammoth had originally been destined for a new museum in Asia, but that deal fell through and we offered to put it on display. The rhino is still here and we hope to convince our Siberian friends to bring a new mammoth when they return to the the Tucson Gem, Mineral, and Fossil Showcase in January.