MOSCOW – A Russian region in Siberia on Monday confidently proclaimed that its mountains are home to yetis after finding "indisputable proof" of the existence of the hairy beasts in an expedition.
The local administration of the Kemerovo region in the south of Siberia said in a statement on its website that footprints and possibly even hair samples belonging to the yeti were found on the research trip to its remote mountains.
"During the expedition to the Azasskaya cave, conference participants gathered indisputable proof that the Shoria mountains are inhabited by the 'Snow Man,'" the Kemerovo region administration said in a press-release.
The expedition was organized after Kemerovo's governor invited researchers from the United States, Canada, and several other countries to share their research and stories of encounters with the creature at a conference.
"They found his footprints, his supposed bed, and various markers with which the yeti marks his territory," the statement said. The collected "artifacts" will be analyzed in a special laboratory, it said.
Yetis, or Abominable Snowmen, are hairy ape-like creatures of popular myth, that are generally held to inhabit the Himalayas.
But some believe Russia also holds a population of yetis, which it calls Snow Men, in remote areas of Siberia.
Kemerovo region's Shoria is a sparsely populated territory in Western Siberia that has historically been a territory of coal and metal mining.
The region, the administrative center of Kuznetsk coal basin, has pursued the elusive Yeti for several years as it tries to develop tourism into its mostly industrial economy.
Considering the latest findings, the region may "create a special research center to study the Yeti" in the regional university and "create a journal" dedicated to the science of the Yeti, the administration's statement said.