The hunt for the mysterious Yeti – otherwise known as the Abominable Snowman – has frustrated scientists for decades.
Yesterday, scientists at Oxford Brookes University joined in the hunt after being given a number of hair strands taken from what is purported to be a Yeti-like creature in India.
The Brookes boffins used high-powered microscopes to analyse the samples found in the West Garo jungle of the north-eastern state of Meghalaya.
They compared the suspected Yeti strands to samples taken from primates, bears, dogs, yaks and humans, which were provided by the Natural History Museum in Oxford.
After the microscope tests have been carried out, the hairs will be sent away to a laboratory for DNA testing.
Dr Anna Nekaris, of the university’s anthropology department, said: “It’s exciting to be asked to take part in this research.
“We put the hairs in clear nail varnish because that helps us to see them more clearly under the microscope.
“Hair cuticle patterns differ greatly from species to species when you look at them under a microscope. …
The hair was discovered earlier this year by BBC reporter Alastair Lawson, who went on an expedition to find the animal after a number of reported sightings.
A forestry officer had seen the creature in the same location and gathered the hair from the area where it had been standing.
Mr Lawson brought the hair back to England to be analysed and contacted Mr Redmond, who then linked up with scientists at Oxford Brookes.
Mr Lawson said: “The forestry officer said he had seen the Yeti two days in a row and persuaded a zoologist to come with him to collect the hairs.
“I’m not convinced that the Yeti exists, but we might have come across a primate that has not been discovered before. – oxford