Yeti ‘proof’ actually belongs to cliff-dwelling goral
Jeremy Hance, mongabay.com
October 14, 2008
In 2003 an Indian forester claimed to have seen a Yeti three days in a row. Dipu Marak, general secretary of the Achik Tourism Society and Yeti enthusiast, followed the man’s trail and discovered strands of hair that he believed belonged to the mysterious creature. According to popular tradition, the Yeti is an ape-like animal that lives in the Himalayan forests.
After close study and DNA tests, researchers discovered that the hairs did not belong to a large unknown primate, but rather the Himalayan goral. The goral is a unique wild ungulate, which possesses characteristics of both antelopes and goats. Inhabiting high elevations, the goral confidently moves along cliff-sides and dizzying heights to escape predators such as wolves, tigers, and snow leopards.
Although the hair failed to prove the existence of the Yeti, its discovery remains exciting. Found in an area where no one expected the Himalayan goral, the hair has expanded the ungulate’s known range.
Mr. Marak is undeterred by the findings. “While these results are discouraging, it does not affect my firm conviction that there is a Yeti-like creature out there,” he told the BBC. “It has been seen too often for it to be dismissed as nothing more than a myth.”
Malaysian scientists are scouring the rainforests of Johor state in search of the legendary ape-man Bigfoot, supposedly sighted late last year. But they are more likely to encounter some less fantastic but unique creatures that dwell in these still unexplored ecosystems. In recent years a number of new and conspicuous animals have been discovered in the forests of South and Southeast Asia, including 361 new species in Borneo over the past decade and 43 new species of vertebrates in Sri Lanka. Just last year, scientists with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) captured on film what may be a new species of mammal in the rainforests of Kalimantan in Indonesian Borneo. The fox-like creature is apparently unknown even to local hunters.
Indian authorities will conduct a “scientific study” to examine claims by villagers of Indo-Asian News Service. Villagers in the jungles of the Indian northeastern state of Meghalaya claim to have evidence of Bigfoot or Sasquatch, reports the Indo-Asian News Service. Government authorities said they will conduct a “scientific study” to examine the purported sightings near the border with Bangladesh.