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 22, 2012

BIG CAT NEWS: Gloucestershire and Carlisle redux

The hunt for British Big Cats attracts far more newspaper column inches than any other cryptozoological subject.

There are so many of them now that we feel that they should be archived in some way by us, so we should have a go at publishing a regular round-up of the stories as they come in.

It takes a long time to do, and is a fairly tedious task, so I am not promising that they will be done each day, but I will do them as regularly as I can. JD

Big cat spotted prowling near North Tesco
The Northern Echo
A mysterious big cat has been spotted roaming wild for the second time in one week. Jeni Banks was driving home when she spotted the large panther-like creature amble across the road in front of her. The incident is just the latest in a string of ...

This first story is just a reprise of yesterday's account by Jeni Banks of Carlisle, and no new news is given apart from a mildly amusing slice of dialogue attributed to a cashier from Tesco. This next story, is also a reprise, this time of the ongoing events in Gloucestershire, but includes some wise words from Frank Tunbridge, who stresses that the animals are essentially harmless. Well done that man!

Experts say Gloucestershire big cat will not attack humans
This is Gloucestershire
FEARS that big cats could be a danger to people have been allayed by a tracker who believes one is living on the edge of Gloucester. After three new big cat sightings in the city last week, there were calls for police to patrol the streets.

1 comment:

Dan said...

I can only say that I rather concur with this particular big cat "expert" (can you be an expert in a species you haven't identified even to genus level, and aren't certain even exists?) for rather more prosaic reasons. The 'Big Black Cat' animal has been sighted a very great deal over the last few decades, so there must be quite a few of them knocking about. They don't seem to be particularly afraid of humans so if they were human-aggressive, we'd know about it by now.

One way to test the 1976 release event theory (as opposed to the animals existing before this time) would be to look at historical records, and see if there is a sudden increase in sightings around about the time that myxymatosis was introduced into the UK. The disease was introduced in 1953, with peak kill rates being seen 1954 and 55; an upswing in sightings of big black cats and in particular a marked increase in sheep kills and stories of domestic cats going missing ought to have occurred, had there been a significant population of large cats in the UK at that time.