- Indian Army claim of finding Yeti deserves attention, an expert told NDTV
- But without evidence, "it is best left as amateur speculation," he said
- Another expert said the pugmarks could be of Himalayan Brown Bears
The Army surprised the world by releasing photos late on Monday night of what it claims to be the footprints of the elusive mythical creature, Yeti. The "Abominable Snowman", as the Yeti is also known, has been a topic of speculation because irrefutable scientific evidence has eluded scientists so far.
Reacting to the photos of the possible Yeti footprints released by the Army, Deepak Apte, director of the Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS), said the latest claims do need some attention.
"Coming from the Indian Army, this claim of finding the Yeti deserves a degree of attention. In the natural world, mysterious things do occur. However, unless proved with evidence and backed with a credible scientific publication it is best left as an amateur speculation that needs to be debated further," Dr Apte told NDTV.
BNHS is a top institution for exploring India's natural world and has launched several expeditions in the search of lost or unknown species.
In a tweet, the Army said, "For the first time, an Indian Army Moutaineering Expedition Team has sited Mysterious Footprints of mythical beast 'Yeti' measuring 32x15 inches close to Makalu Base Camp on 09 April 2019. This elusive snowman has only been sighted at Makalu-Barun National Park in the past."
Anindya Sinha, a specialist on monkeys and a professor at the National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bengaluru, said he is not convinced that these are footprints of the Yeti.
Dr Sinha says he believes these could be pugmarks of the Himalayan Brown Bears walking on fresh snow. "Sometimes, these bears walk upright on their hind legs and are known to leave impressions that make people believe that they have stumbled on tell-tale signs left behind by Yeti."
Dr Sinha is known for his work on monkeys and in 2005 he discovered a species of monkey in India called Arunachal Macaque.
Many experts are also not convinced since on the images released by the Army, only a single footprint is seen - but usually when bipeds walk, two alternating prints can be seen.
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