New York: With the discovery of the best-preserved specimen of a mammoth found so far, cloning of the woolly animal is closer to becoming a reality, scientists report.
Nicknamed "Buttercup", the mammoth was discovered on Maly Lyakhovsky Island, Siberia in 2013 and excavated from the permafrost.
The flesh was so well-preserved that it oozed a dark red liquid when scientists cut into it, phys.org reported.
An autopsy on the 40,000-year-old mammoth yielded blood which could contain intact DNA and make cloning possible.
The discovery has excited scientists working for years to bring back the extinct elephant relative.
"Coming face-to-face with a mammoth in the flesh and being up to my elbows in slippery, wet, and frankly rather smelly mammoth liver, counts as one of the most incredible experiences of my life," explained paleontologist Tori Herridge.
Tests are still being conducted to see if the blood will yield a complete genome - the genetic code necessary to build an organism.
The liquid has now been confirmed as blood, following the autopsy conducted by scientists.
The full results of the autopsy were shown in a documentary titled "Woolly Mammoth - The Autopsy" on the British network Channel 4.