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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, February 03, 2010

NEIL ARNOLD: 1910 Kentish bear hunt & other escapees

The Times of December 27th 1910 interrupted their Christmas coverage with some alternative festive frolics:

‘Escape of a pet bear at Folkestone – a Himalayan bear which has been brought home from India by the King’s Royal Rifles made its escape from Shorncliffe camp on Sunday night or early yesterday morning and is still at large. The bear is the regimented pet and has been kept in a very strongly built cage in the part of the camp known as Tin Town, which is in the direction of Cheriton, near Hythe. A large number of the men of the King’s Royal Rifles yesterday scoured the county in search of the bear.’

There was also a bear hunt in Sussex reported march 28th 1928. Five years later there was a ‘Monkey chase at Brighton – (August 8th 1933) – A monkey which escaped two days ago in Brighton was chased along the parade by firemen, policemen and visitors before it was captured yesterday. The monkey had taken possession of a ladies cloakroom at the western end of the covered terrace on the Madeira Drive, and his tricks included the smashing of flower pots from a high shelf in the building. He was caught yesterday morning, but managed to escape again and was recaptured by a London visitor…’

In 1959 an escaped monkey was shot at Worthing in Sussex meanwhile on January 26th January 1981 The Times reported ‘Wolf shot after zoo escape – a wolf shot in a Kent village yesterday escaped from Howletts Zoo at Bekesbourne, near Canterbury where two keepers were killed by a tigress last year. The zoo is owned by Mr John Aspinall. As a search for the escaped wolf got under way a motorist told police he had knocked it down at Littlebourne. A member of staff at the zoo shot the injured animal.’

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