A campaign intended to bring visitors to Nepal has sparked some heated debate in the region for its controversial depiction of the legendary cryptid, the yeti.

The creature, long rumored to inhabit the Himalayas, had been chosen as a symbol of the region for the ‘Visit Nepal 2020’ tourism drive with huge, colorful, statues of the creature made from fiberglass being installed at popular tourist spots.

However, the image selected has been criticised for looking nothing like the fabled creature, with some complaining that it looks more like a sumo wrestler than the folkloric ape man.

So controversial has the depiction proven, that authorities have now been forced to remove some 22 of the fiberglass figures after a flood of complaints. The objections also highlighted the fact that the statues looked so unlike conventional ideas about the appearance of the beast man, that some had mistaken the effigies for religious icons and even began to leave offerings and pray to them.

Also known as the ‘Abominable Snowman’ yetis are usually depicted as large, shaggy haired. apelike creatures that walk on two legs and are similar in some respects to legends of the North American Bigfoot.