MOSCOW, Sept. 18 (UPI) -- Moscow researchers said they have evidence an Almas -- a legendary primate known as the Russian Bigfoot -- is wandering the woods near the city.
Andrei Stroganov, a biophysical technologist at Moscow's Agricultural Academy, said he collected a fragment of tree bark near the city that bears the signs of having been marked by a large primate, and he fingered an Almas as the culprit.
"The Almas is cosmopolitan," Stroganov joked when asked about the creature living so close to the capital. "I am not worried: They are benevolent and need our protection."
Stroganov and Igor Burtsev, one of the country's leading Almas researchers, told The Moscow Times they bagged samples of the bark at the State Darwin Museum and shipped them to Alabama, where Russian-born researcher Vladimir Yamschekov will search for DNA traces.
Burtsev said he found "confirmation" of an Almas presence in Russia during a recent visit to the city of Miass in the Urals region of Chelyabinsk to check out Bigfoot sightings in the area. He declined to discuss the details of what he found.
"There is more information on this than when I started 50 years ago," he said. "Then again, people have less time now and travel is more expensive. The Bigfoot scene in America is bigger."