The enduring mystery of the yeti could have been solved once and for all - at least according to one expert.
The yeti - sometimes known as the Abominable Snowman - is a giant ape-like creature said to live in Himalayan mountain range in Asia.
However, now an expert reckons he knows exactly what’s behind the decades-old mystery.
Madhu Chetri, a researcher with Nepal’s National Trust for Nature Conservation, says he was warned about the Yeti by locals in northern villages.
He said: “I heard several times stories about an encounter between a Yeti and the village’s herdsmen.
“One herder also described how they walked like humans but are double the size of a human.
“One said he encountered two Yetis – one was digging for a marmot and the other was lying in a dorsal posture with one leg folded like a human.
“He also related that they can imitate human beings.”
Dr Chetri says he was even shown evidence said to be left behind by the creature including footprints and hairs.
But he’s not convinced it's some sort of supernatural or as-yet-unknown creature we’re dealing with here and thinks it's more likely to be a Tibetan brown bear.
He said: “It’s because of their physical description, their footprint, and how they’re bipedal when they spot something interesting or unnatural.
“Local people, particularly nomadic families, have shown me several times hair samples and footprints of Tibetan brown bears in the highland pastures saying this belongs ‘to Yeti’.
“Also, signs of digging for Himalayan marmots can be seen in the upper Mustang – people generally say this is done by a ‘Mithe’ which means Yeti.
“But Himalayan marmot is also one of the favorite foods of these bears.”
He added: “A small population of Tibetan brown bears exists in Nepal.
“Sightings are rare, but footprints and digging signs are seen quite easily in upper Mustang during the summer when the marmot is out from hibernation.”
Dr Chetri said he became more confident that these suspected Yeti sightings were in fact bears when he was able to observe them in the wild.
After an initial sighting in 2007, he was finally able to capture clear images of the species in 2013 using camera traps - and he's now published a study showing these first images of the Tibetan brown bear in Nepal.
Featured Image Credit: Pen News
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