As they watched a giant beast lurching through the water in outer Siberia, experts thought they had found evidence that the extinct woolly mammoth was alive and well.But the dramatic footage is a hoax the documentary maker who made the recording has revealed. Lou Petho filmed the video himself - minus the woolly mammoth - and said someone had doctored his footage.
It was claimed the clip was caught by a government engineer in Chukotka Autonomous Okrug, Siberia. The video appeared to show an elephant-shaped animal with reddish-brown fur - which would match the colour of mammoth hair dug up from the perma-frost in frozen Russia - and a trunk dragging in the river.
In reality the animal was nothing more than a computer creation and the footage was recorded as part of a documentary and captured by Mr Petho during a five-day trek. Leo Petho said in a video he published on YouTube: 'I was alerted to the fact that a character by the name of Michael Cohen took hold of some of my footage without knowing it and created an elaborate hoax on the public.'
He added: 'They took this video and, through CGI I imagine, created a woolly mammoth crossing a river. I did not give them permission to do this.' He accused them of 'stealing' people's footage and 'creating a lie with it' and profiting from it.
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