Cody – The Mammoth bones found near Cody are safe tonight. They’re at the University of Wyoming, where they’ll be studied. A group of scientists and researchers worked through the weekend to unearth the bones.
The bones were recently found on the dry lake bed of the Buffalo Bill Reservoir, and confirmed to be part of an ancient mammoth last week. A spokesman for the Bureau of Reclamantion, Lyle Myler, said an investigation into possible theft of some of the bones is still underway.
But, Myler said the Bureau of Reclamation contacted Wyoming’s state archeologist, Doug Pierce about the site. Myler said Pierce brought a group of researchers to the site Friday. They worked all day Friday, Saturday, and Sunday to map the location of the bone fragments, and recover hundreds of pieces of bone material, as fast as possible.
One of the people who worked with them was Draper Museum Curatorial Assistant Bonnie Smith. She said it was amazing how fast the group was assembled.
Smith said they had to work fast because, “Fear of the public finding out, and coming and taking pieces home. So, looting, vandalizing. And then another part of the equation is the weather, and the lake rising, so we had to hustle.”
Smith said the study area is being called the Marquette Mammoth Site. It’s named after a small town that used to be there before the reservoir was created. Smith said researchers will probably return to the area next fall, after the reservoir levels drop again.
The water is very low in the reservoir now, to allow storage for a high snowmelt. Myler said the reservoir level is already rising.