A group of Rosneft workers hit an unexpected pay zone on Monday after unearthing woolly mammoth fossils while working in the Siberia region of Russia.
The group was doing land reclamation work about 31 miles from Nyagan when they found the tusk of a female mammoth, the Siberian Times said.
“We have the rule – if we find something, we stop the work and call the bosses. But I was also interested myself in what this was,” worker Vladimir Bednyakov said.
The workers eventually dug up a second tusk along with ribs, a tibia and teeth and jaw fragments that were buried about 10 feet deep.
Paleontologist estimate the fossils are at least 10,000 years old and believe the animal was about 30 to 40 years old at the time of her death.
The fossils have been sent to a museum for repair and restoration work.
‘We can send the find to determine the radiocarbon date,’ he said. ‘Genetic analysis will help to determine which population this mammoth was from – European or North American,” paleontologist Anton Rezvy told the Siberian Times.
Rezvy said the restoration work could take anywhere from six months to a year.
Scientists will study the fossils to help determine where the animal came from and how she ended up in Siberia.
The oil workers have been asked to choose a name for the mammoth.