The Indian army claims to have found evidence of the existence of the yeti, in a tweet which has been greeted with online mockery.

“For the first time, an Indian Army Mountaineering Expedition Team has [sighted] Mysterious Footprints of mythical beast ‘Yeti’ measuring 32x15 inches close to Makalu Base Camp on 09 April 2019,” a spokesperson said through the army’s official Twitter account.

Despite the statement’s serious tone and photographs of the footprints, the claim has been greeted with widespread derision.

“The team has handed over whatever evidence they have to the scientific community and maybe after some time we will get some results,” the army spokesperson said.

“We are not saying that [the yeti] is there. It is only an assumption based on what the team has found.”

An Indian government source told The Independent that the claim was not as ridiculous as it sounded, pointing to the fact that National Geographic had run several features on the yeti in the past.

When asked if the yeti post was likely to inspire interest in the Indian army and in the Himalayas, the army spokesperson pointed out that the Yeti claim was already trending on Twitter.

The tweet’s popularity was partly driven by online commenters wondering whether the post was a joke.

“This is deeply, deeply embarrassing,” Praveen Swami, group consulting editor at Indian media company Network18, wrote.

“Whoever in the Indian army’s PR has circulated this is disgracing the institution, and India, in the world’s eyes.”

A politician from the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was also mocked for asking the army to stop calling the yeti a “beast”.

“Congratulations, we are always proud of you,” he wrote, in response to the organisation’s Twitter post.

“But please, you are Indian, don’t call yeti as beast. Show respect for them...he is a ‘snowman’.”

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