Woolly mammoth spotted in Norwegian traffic

Motorists on Norway’s E6 highway were greeted by a rare sight Monday as a reconstruction of a woolly mammoth appeared to be hightailing it north.

Woolly mammoth spotted in Norwegian traffic
An archive photo of the mammoth during an earlier transportation. File photo: Geir Magnusson/NTB Scanpix

The model mammoth was being transported by trailer from Stange to a museum in Folldal.

Geologist Ole Nashoug told the broadcaster NRK that the trip north with the Pleistocene epoch mammal was not an everyday journey.

“The last time [the mammoth was moved] must have been during the Olympics in Lillehammer [in 1994, ed.], but now there is a new transportation to the mining museum in Folldal. We are driving slowly and have secured the mammoth according to instructions,” said Nashoug, who reportedly sold the model for around 170,000 kroner ($19,900).

The reconstruction is based on a preserved mammoth that was discovered in 1901 and was viewed by Nashoug in St. Petersburg 28 years ago, reports NRK.

“It is unusual to see something like this in Lillehammer, since it must be many hundreds of millions of years since it last stamped around here,” Ingeborg Hjellvik, who spotted the mammoth on its route, said to NRK.

Woolly mammoths did not in fact become extinct until around 4,000 years ago.

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The reconstructed mammoth will be part of a new exhibition to open in June at Folldal’s natural history museum, reports NRK.

But viewers will probably be less surprised to see it there than they were during its four-wheeled migration north.

“A lot of people are wide-eyed when we drive past. We get attention wherever we stop,” said Nashoug.