Copyright 1995 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
BEIJING (AP) -- Chinese scientists are setting off on a year-long
expedition to resolve the mystery surrounding reports of a "big foot" wandering the wilderness.
The 30-member team will set off early next month for the Shennongjia Nature Reserve in central China, where residents have for centuries been reporting sightings of a 6 foot 8 inch creature that is half-man, half ape, the official Xinhua News Agency reported Wednesday.
Some of the scientists really expect to find a creature belonging to a hitherto undiscovered species of ape men, the report said. Others would prefer more proof.
"The most satisfactory thing would be to get a picture or even a videotape of the creature," said Wang Fangchen, the scientist heading the expedition.
Wang said reports that have circulated so far about the "big foot," yeti, or abominable snowmen were unscientific and irresponsible.
The expedition plans a comprehensive scientific survey of the region's environment, geography and meteorology, even if it fails in its mission to find a big foot. Shennongjia Nature Reserve, located in the western part of central Hubei province, is home to other rare species, including the golden monkey.
Anthropologists, biologists and geneticists from the Chinese Academy of Science, prestigious Beijing University and Beijing Normal University will participate in the team, the report said.
An advance team began searching in March for the legendary creature.
Original file name: CNI - Bigfoot in China?
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