Family agrees to let MSU museum keep ancient elk
East Lansing — A museum at Michigan State University will be the permanent home of antlers and a skull from an ancient elk found less than 20 miles away.
The museum’s acting director, Lora Helou, says relatives of the late Gordon Harper have agreed to donate the remains, which could be more than 5,000 years old.
It’s a strange story. The antlers and skull were discovered in 1984 in a peat bog in Shiawassee County. But when researchers from the museum came to excavate the site, the remains were gone.
More than 30 years later, just before Christmas, someone anonymously sent them to Michigan State. The museum informed the family that owned the land and waited for a decision.
Helou says that the antlers and skull will be displayed on Feb. 14.