A mammoth discovery was made by a 12-year-old while on vacation in Ohio

Hooked on Science

(CNN) – While playing around in a creek bed, an Ohio boy stumbled across an odd, ridged object jutting out of the mud. It turned out to be a woolly mammoth tooth.

Jackson Hepner was visiting The Inn at Honey Run in Millersburg, Ohio, in July with his family when he made the discovery.

“His dad and his uncle are both really into natural history and understanding nature,” Jason Nies, who owns the inn, told CNN affiliate WEWS on Tuesday. “They quickly jumped online and were Googling it, and that’s when we quickly found out this might be a mammoth or a mastodon tooth.”

Jackson’s family and the inn contacted several professors in the area, including P. Nick Kardulias of the College of Wooster’s Program of Archeology, the inn said in a post to its website.

“He has been very excited since the find, and that excitement has grown with the increasing interest in the story,” Jackson’s dad Josh Hepner said.

Experts arrived to inspect the object and scope out the location of the discovery.

Kardulias, the professor, and a colleague believe the 12-year-old did in fact discover a mammoth tooth.

Jackson drew them a map that led experts to the location where he found the tooth with a note attached, the inn said.

“I found the mammoth tooth about ten yards upstream from the bridge we had our family pictures on. It was partially buried on the left side of the creek,” the inn said the boy wrote in the note.

He ended the note with one request.

“I would like to have my tooth back in my hands as soon as possible,” it reads. “I want to show my friends.”

According to Ohio History Central, both mastodon and mammoth fossils have been found around Ohio. They became extinct about 10,000 years ago. According to the National Park Services, mammoths were grazers, so their molars had smooth ridges for eating grass.

“We couldn’t be prouder to be the site of such an extraordinary find,” the Inn at Honey Run said in a news release on its website last week.

Nies says he hopes that one day, after Jackson is done showing the tooth off to his friends, that he will return it to the inn to be displayed.

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