SNARLING, 3m "hairy men" could be sneaking around in bushland near you right now.
Yowie researchers are on their way to the Northern Rivers, citing new evidence that these mysterious creatures are living around Lismore and Casino.
Known as the "Bigfoot of the Bush" or the giant "hairy man", yowie believers say the beings are a primitive, ape-like race dating back at least two million years.
The father of yowie research, Rex "The Yowie Man" Gilroy, will be leading the investigation in Lismore.
Mr Gilroy and his wife, Heather, are directors of the Australian Yowie Research Centre, which they set up in 1976 in an effort to gather evidence of yowies for scientific assessment.
Now they are bringing their work to the Northern Rivers after reports of recent sightings.
Coming with them are a number of cryptozoologists (people who search for animals whose existence has not yet been proven), and they are looking for local input.
"We will be following up a number of new leads," Mr Gilroy said.
"Perhaps there are readers who have information helpful to our investigation, and we will welcome their assistance.
"Yowie footprints from the Lismore area were among a number used in a recent Animal Planet TV documentary on North America's Bigfoot and the yowie, with which we are involved.
"We plan to search hereabouts, where it was claimed a male and female pair of hairy hominids were seen recently by hikers, moving through a forest apparently searching for herbivorous food.
"The fresh tracks found in the Lismore area match others from the Kempsey and Blue Mountains wilds, all of which display an opposable big toe."
The Gilroys have more than 200 plaster casts of yowie tracks and thousands of accounts of yowie sightings.
WEIRD AND WONDERFUL CREATURES
- The Australian panther: A huge, black, cat-like animal which prowls the bush.
- Horny-skinned goanna bunyip: Said to have existed in NSW; enormous in size and smelled "terrible".
- Thylacine: Believed to be extinct, but there have been reports of recent sightings on the Northern Rivers.
- Marsupial lion: Was the largest meat-eating mammal to have ever existed in Australia.