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Baby woolly mammoth goes on display in Hong Kong

An almost perfectly preserved baby woolly mammoth who lived 42,000 years ago began the Asian leg of a four-year world tour on Tuesday.

The one month-old practically intact female mammoth was found in 2007 by a Siberian reindeer herder and his sons.

Scientists believe the infant Ice Age mammal died after falling into mud near a river.

Named after the herder's wife, Lyuba, the world's best preserved woolly mammoth is now on display at a high-end shopping mall in Hong Kong.

On loan from the Shemanovskiy Museum and Exhibition Centre in Russia, Lyuba has already wowed viewers in ten North American cities.

In all, audiences from ten countries will be able to view the unique Ice Age specimen, whose skin, trunk and ears are still intact after being preserved in permafrost for thousands of years.

On Tuesday, staff at the exhibition in Hong Kong, which runs from April 12 - May 10, carefully lifted up Lyuba's carcass from a case to show it to the media.

It was the first time the mammoth was taken out from its case since it arrived in Hong Kong on Sunday.

Galina Karzanova, Assistant Curator of Shemanovsly Museum in Russia, said Lyuba was unique because the trunk and most of the ears could still be seen.

"Her skin is intact, so it's very rare. And her inner organs are very important for the scientists and her intestine is more or less there," Karzanova said.

Mammoths, an extinct member of the elephant family, once ranged from Russia and northern China to Europe and most of North America, but their numbers began to shrink about 30,000 years ago.

Source: NewsNet 5 [April 13, 2012]

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