David Attenborough believes that the Yeti – or Abominable Snowman – may be real.
The world-renowned naturalist and broadcaster says he thinks the creature of Himalayan legend – which has a North American cousin known as Bigfoot or Sasquatch – could be much more than a myth.
“I believe the Abominable Snowman may be real. I think there may be something in that," said Attenborough, speaking today at a showcase of upcoming programmes on UKTV.
“There are footprints that stretch for hundreds of miles and we know that in the 1930’s a German fossil was found with these huge molars that were four or five times the size of human molars.
“They had to be the molars of a large ape, one that was huge, about 10 or 12 feet tall. It was immense. And it is not impossible that it might exist. If you have walked the Himalayas there are these immense rhododrendron forests that go on for hundreds of square miles which could hold the Yeti."
Attenborough, who was addressing an audience at the Saatchi Gallery to promote a second series of Natural Curiosities on the Eden channel, explained why the existence of the beast had not been proven up until now: “If there are some still alive and you walked near their habitat you can bet that these creatures may be aware of you, but you wouldn’t be aware of them.”
In an interview with Radio Times published today, the 87-year-old naturalist and broadcaster also reveals that even though he had a pacemaker fitted in June, he will never slow down his work commitments.
He says of the medical procedure: “It was no big deal. When you’re in your 80s, your heart gives you a funny five minutes every now and again and they won’t insure you unless you have a cardiologist to say that you can go on a long-haul flight. So I had to have the pacemaker.”
Sir David says he has also had a knee replaced last year – and is equally blasé about that operation.
“If you’ve got a motorcar and its brakes fail, and you have the capacity to replace them, you replace them. And we have the capacity to replace knees, which is wonderful.
“I don’t ever want to stop work. Sure, something’s going to wear out some time and I won’t be able to do it, but while I can – and people want me to, and people look at the result – I’m delighted to work. If I was earning my money by hewing coal I would be very glad indeed to stop. But I’m not; I’m swanning around the world looking at the most fabulously interesting things. Such good fortune.”