Moving Massive Skeleton Is A Mammoth Task

KOSTOLAC, Serbia (April 11, 2014) Serbian archaeologists used heavy machinery to remove a 1 million-year-old female mammoth skeleton from the open mine pit where it was unearthed nearly five years ago.

Workers operating cranes and bulldozers worked carefully Friday morning at the Kostolac coal mine in eastern Serbia to transfer the mammoth, called Vika, to an exhibition area several miles away.

Chief archaeologist Miomir Korac told The Associated Press that preparations took several months.

Archaeologists secured Vika in a 60-ton structure of rubber and sand to avoid any damage, he said.

Vika is a so-called southern mammoth, or mammuthus meridionalis, that originated from northern Africa and didn't have fur.

Another female mammoth skeleton, about 500,000 years old, was discovered in northern Serbia in 1996.

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