Half a century ago, Belgian Zoologist Bernard Heuvelmans first codified cryptozoology in his book On the Track of Unknown Animals.

The Centre for Fortean Zoology (CFZ) are still on the track, and have been since 1992. But as if chasing unknown animals wasn't enough, we are involved in education, conservation, and good old-fashioned natural history! We already have three journals, the largest cryptozoological publishing house in the world, CFZtv, and the largest cryptozoological conference in the English-speaking world, but in January 2009 someone suggested that we started a daily online magazine! The CFZ bloggo is a collaborative effort by a coalition of members, friends, and supporters of the CFZ, and covers all the subjects with which we deal, with a smattering of music, high strangeness and surreal humour to make up the mix.

It is edited by CFZ Director Jon Downes, and subbed by the lovely Lizzy Bitakara'mire (formerly Clancy), scourge of improper syntax. The daily newsblog is edited by Corinna Downes, head administratrix of the CFZ, and the indexing is done by Lee Canty and Kathy Imbriani. There is regular news from the CFZ Mystery Cat study group, and regular fortean bird news from 'The Watcher of the Skies'. Regular bloggers include Dr Karl Shuker, Dale Drinnon, Richard Muirhead and Richard Freeman.The CFZ bloggo is updated daily, and there's nothing quite like it anywhere else. Come and join us...

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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

FRISWELL'S FREAKY FEATURES: Training Elephants for fun and profit

The other day Alan Friswell, the bloke who made the CFZ Feegee Mermaid and also the guy responsible for some of the most elegantly macabre bloggo postings, wrote me an email.

He had an idea for a new series for the bloggo. Quite simply he has an enormous collection of macabre, fortean, odd and disturbing magazine and newspaper articles, and he proposed to post them up on the bloggo.

Alan Writes: "Yes! Welcome to Friswell's Freaky Features! An ongoing spot on the CFZ blog page where you will encounter the fun, the freaky, the frightening and on occasion, the downright horrifying. Many of these items are from almost forgotten archives and no doubt should, in many cases, have stayed forgotten. But no chance of that on this site! So be prepared to be amazed by the bizarre manifestations of nature, the abberations of the natural world and the complete (on occasion) mind-bending insanity of collective humanity. Read on...."

What a smashing idea, we thought, and so with a burst of alliteration that will - I hope - make Dr Shuker proud of me, here we go.

I think that we all have suspicions about that way that animals are treated when they are being 'trained' for circuses, exhibitions and the entertainment industry in general but when we see the way it's done in its full, cold-blooded reality, it can inspire us to think very dark thoughts about our own species....

Modern Mechanics, July, 1931

1 comment:

Retrieverman said...

One of the things that has always troubled me is the keeping of elephants in captivity. I just don't think they belong there, especially in colder and temperate climates. They are meant to be wandering over vast expanses, consuming large amounts of food, swimming in the water, wallowing in the mud, and living together as a closely bonded family unit. They are not meant to be chained and yanked and transported from one freezing cold place to another to perform as circus clowns for our amusement.

Not only that, elephants are known to go off on on their handlers. It is not just bulls in musth. There are countless cases of circus elephants going on rampages. And I think that this happens because they are not meant to be a circus animal or in captivity at all. Period.