A spokesman for the country's defense ministry told NBC News on Tuesday that photographs taken by the army's mountaineering expedition team had been passed on to "the scientific community" for verification.
The announcement, which referred to the yeti as a "mythical beast," was met with mixed reaction online.
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Some noticed that the photos appeared to show the footprints in a straight line, one behind the other, similar to what might be expected from a model.
Research carried out by Barnett and fellow ancient-genetics expert Ceiridwen Edwards in 2014 had found that DNA samples taken from reported yeti sightings matched brown bears local to the Himalayan region.
Whether or not the origin of the footprints was narrowed down, Barnett was confident yeti sightings would continue.
"You can’t kill a legend with anything as mundane as facts," he said.
Mount Makalu is the world's fifth highest mountain. It is located on the border between Nepal and China and is about 12 miles south of Mount Everest.
Caroline Radnofsky is a senior reporter for NBC News' Social Newsgathering team based in London.
Nidhi Dutt is a journalist based in New Delhi, India.