From: Jeremy Hance, MONGABAY.COM, More from this Affiliate
Published October 14, 2011 01:40 PM

If camera traps don't prove existence of Bigfoot or Yeti nothing will

Let me state for the record that I am skeptical of the existence of Bigfoot or the Yeti, however I do have a fascination for following the latest news on the seemingly never-ending search for these hidden hominids. This week a Yeti conference in Russia announced 'indisputable proof' of the legendary hairy ape in the wilds of Southern Siberia. What did this proof consist of? Not DNA, photographs, video, or the Yeti itself (dead or alive) as one would expect from the word 'indisputable', but a few alleged Yeti hairs, an alleged bed, and alleged footprints. Cryptozoologists, those who are fascinated by hidden species such as the proposed Yeti and Bigfoot, don't serve their cause by stating the reality of a species without the evidence long-deemed necessary by scientific community to prove it—either a body or DNA samples combined with clear photographic evidence—instead they make themselves easy targets of scorn and ridicule. It's true Sasquatch-believers have sometimes been deemed crackpots and crazies, but there are many well-respected researchers and naturalists who accept the possibility of Bigfoot, Yeti, or some as-yet-unnamed large primate, inhabiting the wilds of the world. Even such heavyweights as Jane Goodall and David Attenborough have said it's certainly possible, and that evidence is 'convincing' if not yet 'indisputable'.


So, the question really becomes how long such a big terrestrial mammals really avoid the notice of science? Over the last century the global population has more than tripled, forests have been felled like never before, and even the most remote places have had scientists poking about. Today tourists have relatively easy access to parts of the Amazon and the central Asian forests, not to mention the forests of North America, so how could such a large animal avoid discovery? Cryptozoologists have a common response: they argue that these hominids are incredibly elusive and shy, which is why they have so long avoided detection. The primates are masters at avoiding humans, say believers. If we give cryptozoologists the benefit of the doubt on this, we have a new ubiquitous tool—the camera trap—that can provide verifiable proof of a species without a human ever having to get close to it: one way or another this will be key to ending the Yeti-Sasquatch-debate.

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