The remains of an 8-foot-long mammoth have been discovered at a construction site for a new downtown San Diego law school.

The Thomas Jefferson School of Law says a backhoe operator unearthed the tusk 20 feet below ground level on Wednesday.

Law school spokesman Chris Saunders says experts from the San Diego Natural History Museum were called in to take over the excavation. He says scientists then discovered the skull and other bones.

A museum curator says it is the remains of a Columbian mammoth, which roamed the Earth about 500,000 years ago.

The law school says digging out the remains will take several days. The mammoth will later be put on display at the Balboa Park museum.