Scientists and yeti enthusiasts believe there may finally be solid evidence that the apelike creature roams the vast Siberian tundra, reports the Guardian.
A team of a dozen-plus experts from as far afield as Canada and Sweden have proclaimed themselves 95% certain of the mythical animal’s existence after a daylong conference in the town of Tashtagol in the Kemerovo region, some 2,000 miles east of Moscow. In recent years, locals there have reported sightings of the yeti, also known as the abominable snowman.
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The Kemerovo government announced on Oct. 10 that a two-day expedition the previous weekend to the region’s Azassky cave and Karatag peak “collected irrefutable evidence” of yetis’ existence on the wintry plateau.
“Conference participants came to the conclusion that the artifacts found give 95% evidence of the habitation of the ‘snow man’ on Kemerovo region territory,” read a statement. “In one of the detected tracks, Russian scientist Anatoly Fokin noted several hairs that might belong to the yeti,” it added. The group also discovered footprints, a presumed bed and various other markers.
The scientific community has historically disputed the existence of the yeti given scant conclusive evidence. But numerous sightings of such creatures have been reported in Himalayan countries and in North America, where it is known as Sasquatch, or bigfoot.
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Joe Jackson is a contributor at TIME. Find him on Twitter at @joejackson. You can also continue the discussion on TIME’s Facebook page and on Twitter at @TIME.