The pre-historic animal was found in permafrost on the bank of Tirekhtykh River of the Abyisky district of Yakutia by a local resident Boris Berezhnov. Excited scientists unveiled the discovery – its facial features clearly visible – in Yakutsk today. The animal was aged around one and a half to two months old when it perished. It is not yet clear whether the cub was male or female.
Expert Dr Albert Protopopov said: ‘It is a perfectly preserved lion cub, all the limbs have survived. There are no traces of external injuries on the skin.’
The preservation is so good that it raises hopes of cloning the species back to life, he said. The discovery is seen as better preserved than two tiny cave lion cubs found in the same Siberian region in 2015.
In one of these scientists found what is believed to be traces of mother’s milk.
‘Everyone was amazed then and did not believe that such a thing is possible, and now, two years later, another cave lion has been found in the Abyiski district,’ he said.