Volunteers from a Grand Rapids, Michigan charity were shocked to discover the tooth and possibly a tusk from a long extinct relative of the Elephant had been placed in a donation box. Christian charity, The Image operates donation boxes for clothing and household items it later distributes to low income families throughout Grand Rapids.
The tooth is thought to belong to a Mastodon, an ancestor of the elephant that was found throughout the Michigan region of North America. Mastodon remains are still discovered throughout Michigan, but rarely in a clothing donation box. The Mastodon is thought to have become extinct between 12,000 and 15,000 years ago, the tooth and tusk found in the charity donation box are to be added to the items on display at the Grand Rapid Public Museum.
The Image volunteers discovered the tooth of the Mastodon, before later uncovering a tusk thought to be from the same group of animals. Once verified by the museum both artifacts will be displayed as part of the museums educational collection. The Image has collected a variety of strange objects from its collection boxes over the years, including an urn filled with the remains of an unnamed person and divorce papers.