New claims have been made that DNA tests carried out on what is claimed to be ‘Yeti hair’ suggest it belongs to an unknown mammal, which could be related to man.
The samples of hair were found in a Siberian cave last year, reports the Daily Mail.
“We had ten samples of hair to study, and have concluded that they belong to mammal, but not a human,” said Professor Valentin Sapunov, a prominent Russian cryptozoologist of the Russian State Hydrometeorological Institute.
The hair is not believed to have belonged to any animal known from the region and the Siberian Times reports analysis carried out in both Russia and the United States 'agreed the hair came from a human-like creature which is not a Homo sapien yet is more closely related to man than a monkey’.
The newspaper, which reports the claims were made on a regional Russian government website, added that tests had been carried out in two Universities in Russia and one in the United States.
It reported: “Three world level universities have finished DNA analysis of the hair and said that the hair belongs to a creature which is closer by its biological parameters to Homo sapiens than a monkey. The Yeti's DNA is evidently less than one per cent different to that of a human.”
The hair was believed to have been found in the Azasskaya Cave in the Mourt Shoriya area of Kemerovo region in Siberia last year.
However, some have dismissed the expedition as a PR ploy.
“There was no expedition. The conference participants were accompanied by the press on a field trip to a cave site. It is my opinion that the 'evidence' found in the cave was unreliable," said Jeff Meldrum, a biologist at Idaho State University and cryptozoologist, told The Russian Times.
There have been a number of ‘sightings in the region over the years, with one Siberian fisherman, Vitaly Vershinin, claiming: “We shouted to them - do you need help?
“They just rushed away, all in fur, walking on two legs, making their way through the bushes and with two other limbs, straight up the hill.
“What did we think? It could not be bears, as the bear walks on all-fours, and they ran on two so then they were gone.”