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The yeti to be a monstrous bear


AOMORI (Kyodo) The legendary Abominable Snowman of the Himalayas is actually a kind of brown bear, a Japanese mountaineer has asserted, casting doubt on an ongoing expedition to track down the beast.
A photo taken by mountaineer Makoto Nebuka shows the head and legs of a "meti," a kind of brown bear Nebuka believes lies behind the legend of the Abominable Snowman of the Himalayas.  

Makoto Nebuka, a member of the Japanese Alpine Club, will soon publish the findings of a 12-year study in which he concludes that the mysterious creature, also known as the yeti, is actually the Himalayan brown bear.

The 56-year-old head of the club's Aomori branch has interviewed Himalayan tribes and visited areas in Nepal, Bhutan and elsewhere with the help of Sherpa guides.

While the word "yeti" means "snowman" in the Sherpa language, the mythical creature is also apparently known as "meti," according to Nebuka, who is from Hirosaki, Aomori Prefecture.

Aside from the Sherpas, most of the tribes interviewed by Nebuka told him that "meti" refers to the Himalayan brown bear, adding that "meti" and "yeti" are one and the same.

Nebuka's remarks will likely fuel debate over the mystery, with a Japanese expedition team currently conducting a two-month trek in search of the elusive creature.

Led by Yos**teru Takahashi, the mountaineers are set to roam the Dhaulagiri range through October.

Nebuka said the vivid imaginations of explorers have fueled continuing expeditions in search of the Abominable Snowman, reputed to be a giant apelike biped, leading Sherpas to believe in its existence as well.

The legend has grown in tandem with people's imaginations, apparently reflecting human fears, as well as representing an attempt to lure tourists to the roof of the world.

The myth of the Abominable Snowman first attracted worldwide attention in 1951, following the discovery of large footprints.

Its image as an apelike monster became fixed when British media introduced it as such in 1954.


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