Red Brick Daily

Zhang Jianxing, 62, has searched the old forests of the Hubei Shennongjia National Nature Reserve for 20 plus years.

He seeks but one thing: the mythical Yeren –  or Chinese yeti – and Zhang says he will not give up until he sees the creature face-to-face.

Zhang’s fascination with the Yeren, a rumored 6-foot-tall humanoid creature covered in thick red-brown fur, has taken only 22 years of his life.

He began living as a hermit in the 3,200-square-kilometer mountain range in 1994 after becoming convinced his best chances of finding one was there.

References to the so-called “Chinese Wild Man” date back to the Zhou Dynasty and have popped up throughout Chinese history ever since.


Ten months out of every year, Zhang lives deep in the Shennongjia National Nature Reserve, hoping to stumble into the Yeren.


Dressed in camouflaged military gear and armed with a DSLR camera … he sleeps in abandoned homes and caves.

The Yeren is “science” to Zhang, something he’s been “studying” for a long time.

Zhang points to his “ample evidence”: over 100 hair samples / 3,000 photos of large footprints, etc.

Zhang is not alone in his belief — records from China’s “Wild Man Research Association,” report 400 locals’ encounters with ‘Yeren.’

Experts say the whole thing is just another aspect of the “Bigfoot” phenomenon found in the United States and elsewhere.

Zhou Guoxing, former director of the Beijing Museum of Natural History and a paleontologist put it thus: “I’ve visited every place Wild Man was reported in China. I’ve studied everything … hair, skulls and specimens. All of them are dyed human hair … or come from monkeys and bears.”

Could the local Hubei government be pushing the Yeren myth to boost tourism?

A good indicator was a 2012 deal the Shennongjia Nature Reserve signed with Beijing to promote holidays for “yeti hunters.”

‘We will find that Big-Foot-Yaren-Thing and we will hunt it’ … seems like a solid plan.


Chinese article here: