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Nearly five years ago a rare complete skeleton of a female Mammoth was found in an open-cast coal mine in Serbia.

Now it has been excavated and moved, as building a museum around it proved impractical. A block of surrounding earth had to be shifted to keep the skeleton intact, so heavy equipment was needed for the delicate operation.

“The weight of the remains, together with the structure that was created around them in order to secure them for moving, is around 60 tonnes. We had to employ heavy lifting cranes and machinery that can carry such a load in a safe fashion,” said the Director of Viminacium archaeological park, Miomir Korac.

One million years old, the skeleton, christened Vika, had one last journey of a few kilometres to make to a nearby exhibition area. She may not be the last, as Serbia is a favourite location for mammoth hunters. Another skeleton was found in the north in 1996.

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