Group makes major discovery at Elephant Butte

NM Stegomastodon fossil discovery

ELEPHANT BUTTE, N.M. (KRQE) – A lot of crazy things can happen at bachelor parties, but one party at Elephant Butte Lake could make history.

Did a group of bachelor party buddies really discover the remains of an ancient animal?

“As we are cruising by we see a large tusk or what seems to be a large tusk coming out of the ground about a good three to four inches out,” Antonio Gradillas said.

Gradillas and his friends started digging and found the giant fossil of a tusk and skull at Elephant Butte Lake.

They thought it was a Woolly mammoth.

They sent pictures of it to the New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science.

Paleontologists there say it looked like a Stegomastodon, a 9-foot tall, 13,000 pound, prehistoric elephant that roamed New Mexico millions of years ago.

“He advised us that it may not be a Woolly Mammoth it’s the wrong era and weren’t conducive to this area. He says it’s more the ice age era 40-60 million years old and chances are good it’s a mastodon,” Gradillas said.

The area has been blocked off so paleontologists can work to excavate the fossil and confirm what it is.

The public is asked to stay away and help protect the area. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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