Hunters in central China have trapped a strange-looking beast dubbed the “Oriental Yeti,” though one of the world’s preeminent Bigfoot experts says the animal in question is no Yeti.
Anybody whose seen the movie “Harry and the Hendersons” (or episode 13 in the third season of “30 Rock”) could tell you that.
“This is not a true yeti. This is more media madness,” says Loren Coleman, author of more than 30 books on mythical creatures, including “Bigfoot! The True Story of Apes in America” published by Simon and Schuster.
Photos today show a four-legged, thick-tailed, hairless animal caught in Sichuan province, reports The Telegraph. The mystery beast is now being sent to scientists in Beijing for DNA testing.
“It looks a bit like a bear but it doesn’t have any fur and it has a tail like a kangaroo,” one of the Chinese hunters said. “It also does not sound like a bear – it has a voice more like a cat and it is calling all the time – perhaps it is looking for the rest of its kind or maybe it’s the last one?”
If it sounds like a cat, then it probably is a cat, says Mr. Coleman, who opened the International Cryptozoology Museum in November in downtown Portland, Maine. The museum features hair samples and some 150 foot casts credited to Bigfoot, Sasquatch, and the yeti.
China’s so-called “Oriental Yeti” appears to be either an Asian palm or common civet (Paradoxurus hermaphroditus), or a masked or Himalayan palm civet (Paguma larvata), says Coleman, who spoke by phone today with the Monitor. The cat looks to have lost its hair because of a bad case of mange – the skin disease caused by parasitic mites. Similar-looking animals in the American southwest have come to be called chupacabras, a hairless quadruped that is likely no more than a dog or cat with mange.