When Scout, a young Labrador retriever puppy from Whidbey Island, Washington, went to work digging up a new hole in his backyard, his human owner Kirk Lacewell wasn't necessarily surprised to see him emerge victorious with something in his mouth. Puppies, as most dog-lovers can attest, are rarely to be found without something to gnaw on.
While Lacewell says he initially thought the object was just a rock, the way Scout continued to proudly carry it around made him take a closer look.
Unlike the pup who recently dug up a Bronze Age treasure, this one turned out to be something completely different.
"Part of it looked like bone," Lacewell told Komo News. "And it looked like bone that had a covering over it and that covering was partly worn off."
After taking a few photos of the object, he passed them along to experts at the University of Washington's Burke Museum. Their conclusion? Scout's find was no less than part of a tooth from a woolly mammoth estimated to be about 13,000 years old.
Because Whidbey Island is thought to have once hosted a healthy population of mammoths during the last Ice Age, finds of this kind aren't particularly unusual. In September 2016, a 10-year-old girl found a mammoth tooth while walking along a beach in Whidbey with her father. In April of this year, a man found what's believed to have been part of a femur from one of these massive mammals.
To the relief of Scout, his human companion told Q13 Fox News that he has no plans of giving up his find and is content to enjoy all the attention while it lasts.
"You know how Andy Warhol said 'everybody's going to have 15 minutes of fame'? Well Scout and I are famous for 15 minutes now," he said. "... if we find the rest of the woolly mammoth in the backyard, we'll call you back."