Teh Lma

Small Hominid of Central Asia.

Etymology: Sherpa (Sino-Tibetan) compound word of uncertain meaning.

Variant names: Pyar-them, Thelma. PP'hysical description: Height, 4-5 feet. Covered with thick, reddish-gray hair. Pointed head. Sloping forehead. Slight mane. Hunched shoulders.

Behavior: Walks and runs on its hind legs. Makes a hooting noise. Eats frogs and insects. Pulls twigs and leaves into neat bundles on the forest floor.

Tracks: Length, 5 inches. Habitat: Forests below the snow line. Distribution: Eastern Nepal; Bhutan; southeastern Tibet; Sikkim State, India.

Significant sightings: Members of the 1958

TEH-LMA 539

Slick-Johnson Snowman Expedition encountered tracks of a Teh-Lma in northeastern Nepal. Gerald Russell came across some small tracks at an altitude of 8,500 feet near Bumling. Hearing from a local man in April that a small YeTI was making nightly visits to a stream near Walung in the Chhoyang River valley, Sherpa Da Temba went to stake out the area. He found a wet footprint, then, using a flashlight, he saw the creature about 30 yards away. Peter and Bryan Byrne found a set of humanlike footprints near a half-eaten frog later in the spring.

In 1959, the Byrne brothers found some droppings that apparently were from a Teh-Lma. A. Fain of the Antwerp Tropical Medicine Institute analyzed them and found an intestinal nematode of the genus Trichuris but could not determine the species. Another sample was analyzed by Anne Porter at the Zoological Society of London, who found some mammalian hairs and invertebrate tissue. Possible explanations:

(1) The Assam macaque (Macaca assamensis) and Rhesus monkey (M. mulatta) are found at moderate elevations in northern India and Nepal. Both are quadrupedal and about 2 feet long with a 12-inch tail.

(2) The Sloth bear (Melursus ursinus) is about 4-5 feet long and has a glossy black coat with a distinct U- or V-shaped white mark on its chest. It eats insects, honey, carrion, fruit, flowers, and sugarcane.

(3) The Hoolock gibbon (Hylobates hoolock) is a little less than 3 feet tall when standing erect and has distinctive white brows. It is found in lowland forest east of the Brahmaputra River.

Sources: Peter Byrne, "Frogs Lure Abominable Snowman," New York Journal-American, June 5, 1958; Peter Byrne, "Searching for the Abominable Snowman," New York Journal-American, June 15, 1958; Ivan T. Sanderson, Abominable Snowmen: Legend Come to Life (Philadelphia: Chilton, 1961), pp. 267-271; Edmund Hillary and Desmond Doig, High in the Thin Cold Air (Garden City, N.Y.: Double-day, 1962), pp. 31, 117-118; Loren Coleman, Tom Slick and the Search for the Yeti (Boston: Faber and Faber, 1989), pp. 76-77, 85-87.

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