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Sorry, yetis are just bears

Genetic analysis can be a downer

Animals Avoid Hot Weather In Chongqing Photo by VCG/Getty Images

Yetis are just local bears, according to DNA tests on hair and teeth specimens that allegedly belonged to the legendary abominable snowman.

In the continuing quest to figure out whether the yeti exists, scientists analyzed nine “yeti” samples that came from sources like mummified animals and a stuffed yeti in museums. (The samples belong to a company making a film about yetis.) Researchers compared the DNA of these purported yeti samples to 15 samples of genetic material from brown bears. Eight of the “yeti” turned out to be just local bears, according to a study published in the journal Proceedings of Royal Society B. The ninth sample, the one that belonged to the stuffed yeti, was actually a stuffed bear with the teeth of a dog.

So, for example, the “yetis” from Tibet were Tibetan bears, and the ones from Himalaya were just Himalayan bears, said co-author Charlotte Lindqvist, a University at Buffalo geneticist, according to The Guardian. She added that the results would be “perhaps slightly disappointing to the film company.” I bet.

This isn’t the first time that DNA tests have disproven yeti claims. A few years ago, Oxford University geneticist Bryan Sykes analyzed “yeti” samples from around the world, only to find that they mostly belonged to raccoons, cows, sheep, and even a human. At least bears are a little closer to the yeti than raccoons.