So Discovery News, along with other news outlets, is reporting on the supposed “Oriental Yeti” that has been captured in the Sichuan province of China.
Lu Chin, a hunter, is quoted in the story as saying, “It looks a bit like a bear but it doesn’t have any fur and it has a tail like a kangaroo.” He likened its call to a cat, and then added, “There are local legends of a bear that used to be a man and some people think that’s what we caught.”
Loren Coleman, author of more than 30 books on mythical creatures, including “Bigfoot! The True Story of Apes in America” published by Simon and Schuster, told The Christian Science Monitor that he thinks the animal is either a common civet (Paradoxurus hermaphroditus), or a masked or Himalayan palm civet (Paguma larvata). Regardless of the type of civet, the animal is hairless, he believes, due to mange, a skin disease caused by parasitic mites.
Palm civets have become famous in recent years on shows like “Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern.” That’s because civet coffee is made from beans that have passed through a civet’s digestive tract and been defecated. The beans are removed from the excrement, dried and ground into what is one of the world’s most expensive coffees.
Coleman additionally believes that other so-called legendary animals of recent years, such as the chupacabra of the American southwest, are also just hairless, well-known species suffering from mange.
I’m not sure how anyone was able to confuse this small, hairless kangaroo-like animal with a hairy ape-man, but they did. Skeptics have long been trying to explain the Yeti as a misidentified animal, and while that may be the case, I still don’t see how this thing could ever be confused with an ape-man. Unless of course you’ve been drinking coffee that has been passed through the digestive tract of an animal.