Missing: Horse skull from Yukon’s Carcross desert https://t.co/0NmazpstMf
— CBC North (@CBCNorth) May 30, 2016
Archaeologists who went into a Canadian desert to remove a horse skeleton possibly dating from the Yukon gold rush of the late 1890s found that someone had made off with its skull.
The initial excitement of the discovery of the complete skeleton was dampened when they discovered the skull had apparently gone missing only hours after its discovery.
Greg Hare, a Yukon government archeologist, told CBC News North that he would be grateful if the skull was returned.
He speculates that a local resident visiting the tiny one-mile-square Carcross desert last Friday evening may have stumbled upon the skeleton and taken the skull home.
The bones were first spotted on Friday by tourists on a bus which had stopped at the desert to allow passengers to take photographs. The bones were only metres off the highway.
The bus driver immediately called archaeologists. Hare investigated the next morning, and was guided to the spot by the bus driver on a mobile phone.
The excavation began but it was found the skull and some leg parts had apparently been removed in the handful of hours following the discovery.
Researchers believe the horse was about five years old and was pregnant when it died. The bones will likely be carbon dated to determined how long the remains have been there.
It was possible they dated from the gold rush era in the Yukon in the late 1890s – the Klondike Gold Rush – or perhaps a little later.