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Cute first pictures of new 50,000 year old cave lion cub found perfectly preserved in permafrost

By Olga Gertcyk
12 September 2018

Little cat is possible brother to ‘Boris’ found last year some 15 metres (50ft) away.

Baby - around one month old when it died, too young to open his eyes - was found by local resident Pavel Efimov. Picture: Valery Plotnikov

Meet Spartak the extinct cave lion cub. His find is a major boost to scientists seeking to clone the lost species back to life. 

Discovery of the cub - christened Spartak - is seen as one of the big successes of the summer season in Yakutia where major hunts are underway to find remains of extinct animals such as the once-prolific cave lion, and the woolly mammoths and rhinos.  

The frozen kitten has been preserved as if lifelike for up to 50,000 years. 

He was found a few weeks ago - and these are his first pictures. 

Scientist Dr Valery Plotnikov said the baby - around one month old when it died, too young to open his eyes - was found by local resident Pavel Efimov.

New cave lion cub


New cave lion cub

Discovery of the cub - christened Spartak - is seen as one of the big successes of the summer season in Yakutia. Picture: Valery Plotnikov

'The carcass is whole - the soft tissues, fur, and its long tail have remained intact. 

‘The lion is no more than one month old. 

‘There is an assumption that this is the brother or sister of a kitten, found last year - the location is very close.' 

He told The Siberian Times: 'It could have been a lioness with two cubs.

'Another lion cub, called Boris, was found in this very spot but just 15 metres away last year.

‘So it could have been a lion family.’

Spartak will be ‘wrapped in film and covered in wet snow….then he will be put in the freezer to await study.’

Frozen cave lion cub


New cave lion cub


Frozen cave lion cub


Frozen cave lion cub


Frozen cave lion cub


‘There is an assumption that this is the brother or sister of a kitten, found last year - the location is very close.' Pictures: Valery Plotnikov

A team of scientists from Yakutia along with foreign colleagues from Sweden, the United States, and Britain is continuing the research.

Last year Boris was also described as being in ‘perfect condition’.

An enchanting picture showed this cub resting his head on his paw. 

At the time, expert Dr Albert Protopopov said the find raises hopes of cloning the species back to life.

The condition of the latest cubs is better than of two earlier tiny cave lions named Uyan and Dina - found three years ago. 

Spartak, like Boris, was  found in permafrost on the bank of Tirekhtykh River, in the Abyisky district of Yakutia, also known as the Sakha Republic. 

He will be moved in the coming months to regional capital Yakutsk for analysis.

Two earlier tiny cave lions named Uyan and Dina - found three years ago. Pictures: Vera Salnitskaya

Frozen cave lions


Frozen lion cub


Frozen cave lions


Frozen cave lions


Frozen cave lion cubs

Comments (9)

For the one who commented with "I am a professional hunter, cant wait for this lion to be revived and have it in my trophy wall".

I am going to assume you're taking the time out of a boring, empty life to troll therefore expecting a retaliation of comments otherwise I can not find the words to accurately describe your ignorance with the importance of this find but more so on the wonder to how you have made it thus far in life without being hit by a bus. Some things such as the level of stupid some people can achieve in their lives are far more mysterious than even the ability to clone a cave lion cub.
John, Australia
20/10/2018 14:26
5
0
Cloning cave lions and mammoths will have good points and bad points, like most everything else.

Challenges for endangered existing species mostly come down to habitat-loss. In the Russian and North American sub-arctic, large expanses of functional habitat remain. The ecosystem there can support revived Ice Age species in a healthy way, and diversify & enrich it.
Ted Clayton, Forks, WA USA
21/09/2018 03:52
3
0
I am a professional hunter, cant wait for this lion to be revived and have it in my trophy wall...
me, home
14/09/2018 02:06
7
144
Will be a mistake to clone those animals that we found preserved in the permafrost
We need to investigate about then, and focus the effort in the preservation of the existing species
Joan, Spain
14/09/2018 01:43
26
7
Hey Alex from Sweden, it's better to live your life AND be remembered 50,000 years later.
I-need-a-new-citizenship (and a brand new name), Somewhere out there
14/09/2018 00:20
13
3
When I look at the pictures I think which is better, to grow up, live your life but never be remembered, or to die young and be remembered 50,000 years later.
Alex, Sweden
13/09/2018 19:54
33
1
万岁!~万岁!~万岁!~万岁!~万岁!
五万岁了!还保存得这么好!
姚剑申, 巨鹿/中国
13/09/2018 17:58
2
3
Que maravilllloso descubrimiento .
Juan, España
13/09/2018 17:56
2
3
This is just so beautiful. I can't wait for these magnificent specimens to be published. They are encyclopedias into the biology of these mighty cats.
Hamza Ahmad Shaikh, United Kingdom
13/09/2018 02:47
22
39
1

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