Fishermen Net Skull And Antlers Of Extinct Elk

Two men, Raymond McElroy and Charlie Coyle, went fishing in Lough Neagh, a large freshwater lake in Northern Ireland. The men caught a huge Irish elk skull. The skull is estimated to be more than 10,500 years old, of an elk species that is now extinct. The skull and antlers measured six feet across.

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recreated painting of the extinct elk

“It came up in the net on the side of the boat,” Raymond McElroy told Belfast Live. “I thought it was a bit of black oak to begin with. I was shocked to begin with when I got it over the side and saw the skull and antlers.”

 Up to seven feet tall and weighing 1500 lbs, the animal was a giant species of deer and was known to have lived all over Europe as well as northern Asia and even Africa. Its antlers could span 12 feet. At one time these elk were very abundant. It is believed that as the earth warmed and forest grew, their large antlers were a disadvantage leading to their extinction.

elk on display with an antler spread of 9 feet!