EDMONTON — Perhaps he is still stomping around somewhere, but a DNA test has confirmed that it was not Bigfoot roaming the Yukon earlier this month — it was just a bison.
A hair sample was reportedly plucked from a bush near Teslin in the Yukon at a spot where several people claimed they saw and heard a large, hairy creature making a late-night run through their community. They also reported seeing an unusually large footprint.
The witnesses speculated that they had seen Bigfoot, also known as Sasquatch, an ape-like creature said to haunt the wilderness of western Canada, among other places.
But Bigfoot's presence was refuted after a geneticist from the University of Alberta did tests on the sample, and said the DNA match for a bison was 100 per cent.
David Coltman, the geneticist, says the DNA suggested the hair sample was not fresh.
Coltman agreed to do the tests as a favor to a colleague, and had said Monday that he suspected the hair was actually left behind by a much more mundane Yukon bison.
“If Sasquatch is indeed a primate, then we would expect the sample to be closer to humans or chimpanzees or gorillas,” Coltman said at the time.
The legend of the large, hairy, two-legged creature lurking in mountains dates back to before Europeans settled the continent. This was the second report of the creature near Teslin in just over a year.
In the latest reported sighting, a group of Teslin residents told the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. they heard branches cracking and saw a large human-like creature run by a house. It left behind large footprints, they said, and the hair tufts that were given to wildlife officials.
Coltman said Monday that the process should serve as a good way to get students interested in the field of DNA testing.
“It’s sort of like a wildlife CSI story,” he said.
Reuters contributed to this report.