The Yeren, variously referred to as the Yiren, Yeh Ren, Chinese Wildman, Wildman of Shennongjia, Man-Monkey, or Ren Xiong ("man bear"), is said to be an as yet undiscovered hominid residing in the mountainous and forested regions of China's remote Hubei province.
Witnesses typically report the creatures to be covered in reddish-brown hair. Some white specimens have also been sighted. Their height is estimated to range from five to seven feet, although some colossal examples allegedly in excess of ten feet tall have been spotted. These reports must be treated with some caution, since the basic laws of biomechanics would argue against the existence of human-like bipedal creatures of such dimensions.
Regional officials have recorded nearly four hundred sightings since the 1920s. Since the 1980s, government on a local and national level has likewise taken a keen interest in the creatures, distributing posters that request sighting reports and physical evidence, and supporting scientists who choose to study the Yeren.
Some researchers have drawn a link between the Yeren and the extinct giant ape Gigantopithecus, which did indeed formerly inhabit the same region. Many of the local caves are rich in the fossilised bones of the animal, although whether Gigantopithecus was capable of any meaningful bipedal motion is a matter of debate.
The Yeren has also been hypothesized as a new species of orangutan, one that is ground-dwelling, bipedal and native to mainland Asia instead of Borneo.
It is also thought that the Yeren might just be a legend. The Yeren apparently dwells in a region already rich with superstition and strange phenomena], including an inordinate occurrence of albinism in the local fauna, adding to its mystique. It has been connected with ancient Chinese legends of magical forest ogres and man-like bears.