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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Wednesday, September 02, 2009

MAX BLAKE: Rufus’s Requiem.

As you may have noticed on yesterday’s blog, Rufus the Chinese crested mynah became very ill. He wasn’t flying or even moving his wings; he seemed very depressed and fell over quite a lot (even though he had one club foot, this did not usually happen). I picked him up and took him into a small hospital cage with a blanket and some perches whilst Graham made an appointment with the vet. He ate very well, taking mealworms and banana from his hand, but also ate some soft-bill mix from his bowl.

When we got to the vets (after Rufus made friends with a Beagle), he had a quick check over, and it was discovered that he had virtually no muscle on his keel, and thus he could not fly. As his appetite was still strong, this suggested something was seriously wrong with him. We could have pumped him full of antibiotics, but it appeared that he had a serious wasting disease, and was unlikely to recover, so Graham, the vet and I all thought that it was best to put him down.

He has been buried in the garden. Rufus was very popular with visitors to the CFZ; I remember at the Weird Weekend Dr Darren Naish feeding him mealworms just to see him gape to open his fingers (starlings and mynahs both gape to open small cracks to get at food) and getting very exited when Rufus did so!

It’s the tragic loss of a great character, and he will be very much missed by everyone at the CFZ.


Tabitca said...

I can only say what someone said to me when I lost my much loved old cat, Oedipus, around this time last year. "It means you now have room to offer another animal a good home, it won't replace what you have lost but it will have a good life."

Darren Naish said...

Aww, I really am quite sad. Farewell Rufus, you will be missed.