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, July 07, 2009


Fareeda - a white tiger cub at a South African animal park - has been born without stripes. This is mildly interesting in itself, but we would like to refer you to one of the major articles in this issue of Animals & Men

which tells the story of a mystery cat shot in Hong Kong in 1910.

The original reference in the South China Morning Post reads:

“Residents in Kowloon ought in future to rest peacefully at night, for the prowling “tiger” has at last been killed. This was the news which reached our office last night.

It appears that on Saturday afternoon several parties set out into the New Territory with the avowed intention of bringing home the skin of the “tiger” if there was such an animal anywhere in the reach of a gun.

One of these parties consisting of 6 men, set out late on Saturday afternoon. From information they obtained from outlining villages, they learned that the beast was in the habit of feeding in the neighbourhood of Tai Om between 4 and 5 in the morning. The hunters accordingly concealed themselves near the place and waited with commendable patience. They were rewarded for their long wait, for at half past four on Sunday morning it made its appearance. Two shots were fired at it, one striking it in the neck and the other in the back. Both shots took effect, one of the bullets entering the spine, and the beast at once collapsed and in a very short time was dead.

In its death struggles the animal dug a hole in the ground nearly 3 feet deep. It was a powerful beast and measured 5feet 1inch in length without the tail. It stood about 3 feet high. Its skin was of a dark brown hue, and it did not resemble a tiger. It is thought to belong to the panther specie. [sic]

The two successful shots were fired by Sergt. Devny and Mr. Gast. They are to be congratulated on the success of their hunting expedition, and they will have the satisfaction of having relieved the minds of the residents in the outlying villages of the New Territory. They left the animal in the New Territory, we understand, for the purpose of having the skin preserved. What will be done with it afterwards has not been decided. It will make an interesting addition to the local museum”.

In the article written by Jon and Richard Muirhead, this and other mystery cats from the region are discussed, and it is hypothesised that they might be stripeless tigers. Now, Fareeda has proved that this might well be the case....

Read the original article

1 comment:

Jon Downes said...


Concerning Hong Kong`s mystery cat of 1910, see blogs passim, Karl Shuker`s Mystery Cats of the World says on pp 99-100:

In a letter published in The Times during 1936,W.H.Carter commented that, in one of the official gazetteers of Bengal, a local tiger form was mentioned which does not possess stripes at all but is instead uniformly brown. Carter suggested that this would serveas camouflage in the open sandy tracts of Sunderbans which it inhabits. The Times October 16th 1936

Best wishes

Richard Muirhead