Bear skin from Yeti hunt sells for $21,600

June 23, 2011 at 4:30 AM

GENEVA, Switzerland, June 23 (UPI) -- The hide of a rare Tibetan blue bear killed by mountaineer Sir Edmund Hillary during his 1960s yeti hunt sold for $21,600 at a Swiss auction.

Auctioneer Bernard Piguet said the hide, collected by New Zealand explorer Hillary while seeking the legendary "abominable snowman" in the Himalayas, was sold Wednesday at a Geneva auction, Swissinfo reported Wednesday.

Piguet said the buyer was a Geneva resident and the seller, a Swiss collector, purchased the item at a London auction in 1978 for about $1,900.

"He was fascinated by its rarity and everything to do with Hillary," Piguet said. "It's a blue bear from the Himalayas. But it was considered the yeti until the expedition of Sir Edmund in 1960. He went there to find out if the yeti was real or not."

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