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Prehistoric Mammoth Site in Waco Opens to Public

Waco Mammoth Site

Fifth grader Kyle Aldridge takes a photo the largest known collection of rare prehistoric Columbian mammoths bones, dating back over 68,000 years ago. The bones discovered in 1978 were officially unveiled to the public today.AP Photo/Waco Tribune Herald, Rod Aydelotte

WACO, Texas — A site where dozens of prehistoric mammoths died in a landslide and flooding some 68,000 years ago has opened to the public in Waco, Texas.

The fossils were discovered in 1978 by two men hunting for snakes. They took one of the bones to a Baylor University museum official who identified it, triggering an archaeological dig. 

Baylor and the city preserved the remains for two decades and, following a community fundraising effort, a permanent pavilion was built over the site, which opened to the public for the first time Saturday.

Visitors can observe the mammoth remains from walkways above the dirt where the fossils remain encased. Legislation is pending to make the site a national monument and part of the National Park Service.