FAIRBANKS (AP) -- Three pieces of woolly mammoth ivory tusk were reported stolen from the Fort Knox Gold mine on Thursday.
A heavy equipment operator uncovered the tusks, each about 3-4 feet long, during expansion of the True North pit Jan. 4.
Mine officials contacted the University of Alaska Fairbanks to have someone come out and look at the tusks and then stashed them. The tusks were not put under lock and key.
When officials went to retrieve the tusks Jan. 28, they were gone.
''We didn't really recognize them as being valuable and didn't treat them as such,'' said mine manager Rick Dye. ''We all learned a little bit.''
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