Frozen remains of an extinct cave lion cub have been unearthed in Russia, according to local media reports. The specimen is so well-preserved, with its facial features intact and its head resting on its paw, that Russian scientists hope to clone it.
A local resident from the Siberian city of Yakutsk uncovered the remains of the prehistoric animal in September, according to the Siberian Times. It is only the third cave lion specimen to ever be discovered, and the frozen carcass could date as far back as 50,000 years.
“It is a perfectly preserved lion cub, all the limbs have survived,” Albert Protopopov, a scientist at the country’s Republic of Sciences who is examining the specimen, told the Siberian Times. He estimates the cub was alive for one to two months.
Because the cub is in such excellent condition, preserved by the region’s permafrost landscape, Protopopov said it is likely a candidate for cloning.
Cave lions, which were once the biggest cats on Earth, went extinct about 10,000 years ago, according to National Geographic.