Woolly Mammoth? A still from the video that purportedly shows a prehistoric elephant crossing a river in Siberia, Russia. The footage has excited fans of the thought that mammoths still exist
Science-fiction fans and Hollywood movie makers love the thought of bringing a dinosaur back to life.
But perhaps there's no need for mad scientists, secret islands and DNA trapped in amber - because a wooly mammoth may be already wandering around the wilds of Siberia.
A creature with all the characteristics of the long-extinct animal was filmed wading across a river in the remote Russian region - the Chukotka Autonomous Okrug region, to put a finer point on it.
The jaw-dropping footage appears to show an elephant-shaped animal with reddish-brown fur - which would match the colour of mammoth hair dug up from the perma-frost in frozen Russia - and what appears to be a trunk dragging in the river.
A Russian government engineer, out in the remote area last summer to survey for a planned road, filmed the animal. He has not been available for comment since the video footage went public yesterday.
Paranormal writer Michael Cohen said Siberia was a vast area, and it was possible that it contained many undiscovered species. Whether it contained woolly mammoths was another question.
The 41-year-old Cohen said: 'It is highly possible that a number of species, extinct elsewhere, survive in the area.'
Inconclusive: The footage, reportedly taken by a government worker who was out surveying planned roadworks, is too grainy for anyone to get a good look at the creature
And he explained that the discovery of extinct animals still alivein Siberia would not be music to the ears of the Russian government.
He added: 'If surviving woolly mammoths were found in Siberia, it could run against Russia's plans to further develop and exploit the area's considerable resources.'
There is evidence of the woolly mammoth living up to 150,000 years ago across northern North America and Eurasia, with the best preserved carcasses in Siberia.
But the species had disappeared at the end of the Pleistocene era (10,000 years ago), with an isolated population still living on Siberian Wrangel Island until around 1,700BC.
It looks a litle something like this: A replica of a woolly mammoth on display at the Royal British Columbia Museum in Victoria, British Columbia. Woolly mammoths roamed North America, Europe, and Asia
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