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The remains of the Ice Age bear are perfectly preserved in Russia

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The stunning find was made by sand shepherds in the Lyakhovsky Islands, which are part of the archipelago of the islands of New Siberia in the Far North of Russia.

Prior to that, only the bones of cave bears had been discovered, but this specimen even had its nose intact, according to a team of scientists from the North-Eastern Federal University (NEFU) in Yakutsk, Siberia.

The discovery is of “world importance”, said a leading Russian expert on extinct species of the Ice Age.

In one declaration released by the university, scientist Lena Grigorieva said: “Today this is the first and only find of its kind – a whole dead bear body with soft tissue. It was fully preserved, with all the internal organs in place, even her nose.

“Previously, only skulls and bones were found. This discovery is of great importance to the whole world.”

The adult animal was found by a group of sand shepherds, who then transferred the right to research the sample to the NEFU, which is at the forefront of research for missing mammoths and woolly rhinos.

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According to the team, the cave bear (Ursus spelaeus) is a prehistoric species or sub-species that lived in Eurasia during the Middle and Late Pleistocene period and became extinct about 15,000 years ago. Preliminary analysis suggests the bear is between 22,000 and 39,500 years old.

Maxim Cheprasov, a senior researcher from the laboratory of the Mammoth Museum in Yakutsk, said in a statement: “It is necessary to carry out radiocarbon analysis to determine the exact age of the bear.”

Scientists have not yet been able to visit the site of the discovery – the ancient body was found far away from Yakutsk, which in itself is more than 5,000 miles from Moscow.

Significant discoveries, including mammoths, woolly rhinos, the Ice Age foal, some cubs and cave lion cubs, have been made in Siberia in recent years as permafrost melts.

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