The Waco Mammoth site located at (6220 Steinbeck Bend Drive, Waco, TX (254) 750-7946) is found near the Bosque River less than ten miles from downtown Waco. The park is located on some 100 acres of wooded parkland. The trail going from the visitor center is a short relaxing walk through a nature trail with oak, cedar and mesquite trees and other natural foliage. The site was first discovered by Paul Barron and Eddie Bufkin in 1978, while searching for fossils and arrowheads. The men found a large bone they believed was an extraordinary discovery. They dug up the bone and turned the bone over to the Strecker Museum at Baylor University. The bone belonged to a Columbian mammoth (Mammuthus columbi). A group of volunteers were organized, to excavate, a slow process using brushes and bamboo scrapers, at the Mammoth Site in Waco Texas.
Between 1978 and 1990, they uncovered the fossil remains of 16 Columbian mammoths. Six more mammoths were unearthed one was a large male. The bones of a camel (Camelops hesternus), a juvenile saber-tooth cat tooth (Smilodon fatalis) and an unidentified animal were also dug out between 1990 and 1997.
All the animals that have been discovered to appear to have fallen victim to the flooding and were trapped by the mud sliding down around the adjacent channel. A flash flood trapped the nursing herd of Columbian Mammoths about 68,000 years ago beside the banks of the Bosque River. The adults surrounded the young attempting to protect them while lifting them above the flooding rushing water with their tusks, however, the muddy banks along the river collapsed, and they died. The bones were lost in time until the 1978 discovery. This is the only recorded find of a nursing herd of Columbian Mammoth, at the Mammoth Site in Waco Texas.
For over thirty years, the excavation process continued and was closed to the public. In 2006, plans were introduced to develop the site into a public park. This became a reality in December 2009 when the site was opened to the public. The Site is located in a beautiful building with a glass surrounding so visitors can look around the area without obstructions. There is a large mammoth figurine as you first walk through the door that is life like showing the actual size of the animal. The tour guides are knowledgeable and add invaluable information for visitors to gain a better understanding into the life of the Pre-historic Mammoth. For more information, please visit their website at http://www.wacomammoth.com. The Mammoth Site in Waco Texas has something for all ages and is a wonderful natural site to visit year round.