Man finds 6-foot long mammoth tusk on beach


(KTUU/CNN) – Imagine traveling across a beach and finding a woolly mammoth tusk.

One young man in Shaktoolik, Alaska doesn’t need to imagine it—he’s looking to sell one he found for thousands of dollars.

Raymond Hunt was traveling on his four-wheeler near the tiny windswept village, and was looking to check a net he put out to catch beluga whales. He had no luck there but he found something pretty special to make up for it.

“And I saw the outer layer, and the color, I saw a little bit sticking out,” he told KTUU.

It may look like a piece of driftwood but it’s actually a tusk — most likely from a woolly mammoth, a species that went extinct 10,000 years ago.

“Nice find though, first time I ever find one,” Hunt said.

Hunt called his brother and the two men were able to dig it out. The tusk is 6-feet long and weighs roughly 70 pounds.

“My brother has a hard time lifting it,” Hunt said.

Hunt wants $5,000 for it.

Petr Buchinsky buys mammoth ivory and turns it into pens, knife handles, guitar picks and bridge pins, inlaid with Australian opal.

“Basic, $40-$50 range, nice ornate ones $75 range,” Buchinsky said.

Will Ingram explained that bridge pins hold strings in place and they’re not just for show.

“The overall effect of how long the note will ring out,” Ingram said.

A strong material like mammoth ivory helps a note resonate.

“Even a novice can hear the difference between the low end stuff and this.”

But the price for ivory varies. It can sell to a wholesaler from $25 to $125 a pound.

Hunt says he’ll use the money to buy food and fuel ahead of a long winter ahead.

And just a word of caution, it’s illegal in Alaska to take mammoth fossils from public land without a permit. They can however be taken from private land with permission. KTUU was told this tusk was found on land.


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