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Media Article # 214

Friday, May 26, 2000

Tourists Visit Location of "Bigfoot" in Fall

Xinhua News Agency (China)

WUHAN (Xinhua) -- Guided tours on the periphery of Shennongjia Nature Reserve, believed home to the "Bigfoot," will be provided in the Fall, said Wang Zhenyou, mayor of Yichang City where the Three Gorges Project is under construction.

"They will be able to visit the roads where local residents have reportedly seen 'Bigfoot,' but tourists will not be allowed to go further into the Nature Reserve," Wang said.

The guided tours is a part of the Yangtze Three Gorges International Tourism Festival in Yichang City, central China's Hubei Province from September 30 to October 30.

A team of paleoanthropologists from Beijing, local researchers and reporters have discovered 40-cm-long footprints, brown hair and chewed corn cobs in Shennongjia last October. The possibility that it was a bear has been ruled out by Yuan Zhenxin, a well-known paleoanthropologist from the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS).

Life science professor Pan Wenshi from Beijing University visited the Nature Reserve several years ago. He believed that it was not an ideal living environment for quadrumana because of frequent human activities and shortage of broad-leaved trees and berries in the forest.

Wang Fangchen, head of the Committee for Search for Rare Animals and Plants, said that repeated attempts to track down " Bigfoot" have been disappointing. However, a few scientists do believe the possibility that such a half-man, half-ape creature still exists in the forest.

It is reported that there have been sightings of "Bigfoot" in Tibet Autonomous Region in southwest China.

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