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Tyrone fisherman finds skull and antlers of extinct 'Great Irish Elk'

The skull and antlers became entangled in Raymond McElroy’s fishing net on Wednesday.

Raymond McElroy pictured with the skull and antlers.
Raymond McElroy pictured with the skull and antlers.
Image: Ardboe Heritage

A FISHERMAN IN Tyrone has found what he believes to be the skull and antlers of a Great Irish Elk after it became entangled in his fishing net on Wednesday. 

Raymond McElroy said he thought it was a piece of ‘black oak’ rather than the remains of the animal which went extinct just over 10,000 years ago while he was fishing on Lough Neagh.

“We were lifting the nets in the lough, I thought at first it was a bit of black oak.

“I got it into the boat and saw that it wasn’t, I knew from the antlers it was no ordinary deer,” McElroy told TheJournal.ie. 

McElroy is hoping to confirm his find as a Great Irish Elk soon and is keeping the skull at his home in the meantime. 

“Going by preserving it, I don’t know what to do with it or anything like that but the next step is for people to see it,” he said. 

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Raymond McElroy 2 Raymond McElroy pictured with the skull and antlers. Source: Ardboe Heritage

He said that he was getting a lot of texts and calls from people who are interested in buying the elk skull but he had not received any official offers yet. 

It’s just not a thing that you’d come across every day of the week.

McElroy added that the find was found close to where the lower jaw bone of an Irish Elk was pulled from the water in 2014 so he believes that it could be from the same animal. 

About the author:

Adam Daly

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