Meet The Mammoth Hunters Of Siberia
Meet the mammoth hunters of Siberia and let engage yourself in a tradition as old as its people. The mighty mammoth populated the Earth ten thousand years ago, until his its extinction due to climate change.
Another key factor in the woolly mammoth’s extinction is that they were hunting a lot by humans, for their meat, fur and tusks. Here in Siberia, it is believed that millions of mammoths populated the entire area and this lead to a tradition of mammoth tusk hunters.
The people from Bolshoy Lyakhovskiy Island, Siberia, Russia, were photographed by Evgenia Arbugaeva for a National Geographic pictorial. The eroding beaches of this far away island are home to millions of mammoth tusks very well conserved in the muddy grounds.
The mammoth hunters of today are not actually hunters anymore. They are a new type of gatherers, collecting what their hunter ancestors left behind. Once they find a mammoth tusk, it can take several hours for it to be fully removed out of thick layers of earth, mud and ice.
The international elephant ivory trade is illegal, but the trade of mammoth ivory has become a very successful business. These tusk hunters can earn more than $60,000 for each mammoth tusk they find and remove from the ground.
After they have been excavated from the ground, the mammoth tusks are cleaned up and prepared for shipment for eccentric and wealthy buyers. Over 90% of the mammoth ivory extracted from Siberia, approximately 60 tons per year, finds its way to the Chinese market.
These people and their tradition of mammoth tusk hunting is the only thing keeping the frozen parts of Siberia alive and populated.