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Page last updated at 12:29 GMT, Tuesday, 26 July 2005 13:29 UK

Scientists test 'Bigfoot' hairs

By Ian Gunn
BBC News, Vancouver

A grab from a video allegedly capturing images of a sasquatch in California
Most scientists are sceptical about the sasquatch's existence

Canadian scientists are performing DNA tests on a tuft of hair said to come from a sasquatch, a legendary ape-like creature also known as Bigfoot.

Geneticists at the University of Alberta have been given the hair by witnesses who say it came from the mysterious animal.

The residents of a Yukon town say they saw the creature earlier this month.

The scientists say they think it unlikely that the hair belongs to a giant ape.

Witnesses in Teslin say they saw a tall, ape-like creature lope past a house in the middle of the night, leaving behind large footprints and a clump of hair.

'Scientifically interesting'

Geneticist David Coltman says his team will run modern DNA tests on the sample and compare the results to the DNA of large animals that are well-known here, such as bears and bison.

He says the fur is almost certainly from a well-known mammal but he admits it is possible it will not match any known species.

That, he says, would be scientifically interesting and that chance is worth running these tests for.

Stories of a giant ape roaming the western forests of North America date back to before European settlement in Canada.

But despite occasional footprints and photographs, there has never been much proof of the sasquatch's existence.

The witnesses say they are convinced something unusual is living in the woods.

The test results are expected later this week.


SEE ALSO
Yeti's 'non-existence' hard to bear
26 Sep 03 |  South Asia
'Bigfoot' spotted in China
30 Jun 03 |  Asia-Pacific

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