Posted by: Loren Coleman on August 24th, 2006
Mastodons Still Living
This mastodon (Mammut americanum) is the life-sized bronze representation at the Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne, the home of the “Mastodons.”
Alaska Indians Claim They Have Seen Them Running About.
The Stickeen Indians positively assert that within the last five years they have frequently seen animals which, from the descriptions given, must have been mastodons.
Last spring, while out hunting, one of the Indians came across a series of large tracks, each the size of the bottom of a salt barrel, sunk deep in the moss. He followed the curious trail for some miles, finally coming out in full view of his game, says The Philadelphia Ledger.
As a class these Indians are the bravest of hunters, but the proportions of this new spectacle of game filled the hunter with terror, and he took to swift and immediate flight. He described the creature as being as large as a post trader’s store, with great, shining, yellowish white tusks, and a mouth large enough to swallow a man with one gulp. He further says that the animal was undoubtedly of the same species as those whose bones and tusks lie all over that section of the country.
The fact that other hunters have told of seeing these monsters browsing on the herbs up along the river gives a certain probability to the story. Over on Forty Mile Creek bones of mastodons are quite plentiful. One ivory tusk, nine feet long, projects from one of the sand dunes on that creek, and single teeth have been found so large that they would be a good load for one man to carry. I believe that the mule-footed hog still exists; also that live mastodons play tag with the aurora every night over on Forty Mile Creek in Alaska.
Source: Winnipeg Daily Free Press
March 28, 1893
Credit archival research: Jerome Clark