An almost perfectly preserved 42,000-year-old baby mammoth has arrived in London and will go on show at the Natural History Museum.

Lyuba, the world's most complete mammoth, is seen before going on public display at Natural History Museum Getty

Lyuba, the most complete woolly mammoth ever found, arrived at the museum in a packing case. The museum's mammoth expert Professor Adrian Lister said nothing could have prepared him for the "incredible experience" of seeing Lyuba in the flesh. As the lid of the case was opened, Prof Lister exclaimed: "She's beautiful."

"It was an emotional experience to be face-to-face with a baby mammoth from the Ice Age," he said. "I'm so thrilled that our visitors will be able to experience that, too."

Lyuba, named after the wife of the reindeer herder who found her in Siberia in 2007, is on loan from the Shemanovsky Museum in the Arctic Circle. Yuri Khudi discovered the baby mammoth with his son while they were searching for wood on the banks of the frozen Yuribei River.

She is the size of a large dog (85cm tall and 130cm long) and was probably only one month old when she died. Her body is so well preserved because she was buried in wet clay and mud and then froze. Remnants of her mother's milk is still in her stomach.

An autopsy revealed Lyuba had clay in her trunk, leading scientists to believe she suffocated while getting water.

Mammoths: Ice Age Giants opens at the Natural History Museum on 23rd May and runs until 7 September 2014.