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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Thursday, December 23, 2010


I have been saving this nice little titbit for Christmas Eve. Whilst in India the team examined the pelt of a red panda shot in the Garo Hills during the 1960s. This is particularly interesting because there are none of these animals known nearer than Bhutan. At the very least this is evidence for a marked extension of their known range.

However, it may be even more interesting. Compare the tail with the animals pictured here. This may of course be due to bleaching from the sun or a similar cause but samples have been sent to Lars Thomas, who is working through quite a backlog of CFZ related stuff at the moment.

Watch this space.


Adam Davies said...

The gentleman in the photo is a Surgeon who shot the creature in Balpakram. After Jon had examined the horns, he asked me if we would like to go to his house to examine the red panda .I think Dave was the first to notice, that the black lines on the tail are very fient/non-existant. The hide was kept very well indeed by this highly educared man.It is a light colour ,because it was when it was alive.
Its early days , but it could well be a new sub species of red Panda.
right,its 8.55 a.m. and I`m off to climb some hills in the snow, like the nutcase I am!

Max Blake said...

The tail is a little darker than red pandas I have come across, but the banding is still obvious. It is likely down to being an individual with a slightly darker tail than most, which over the years has lost the really bright white on the bands.

Also, unless the Garo Hills (Meghalaya) are a different set of hills, they are only 100-150 miles away from Bhutan. This is not a massive distance, and I would suggest that the pelt shows that the red panda has undergon a range contraction in the 40 years, not an expansion.

Steve Jones said...

well the tail on the garo one does look to have bands on it Jon ,albeit faint ones.

Dirk said...

Hi Adam,
can you please get in touch with me about the red panda skin and the person you photographed.
Thanks !