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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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Friday, February 10, 2012

BIG CAT NEWS: Today's stories

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 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, so I am not promising that they will be done each day, but I will do them as regularly as I can. JD

Forget Gloucestershire big cats - 'lion' spotted near M5
This is Gloucestershire

CONCERNED callers alerted county police to more than 60 suspected big cat sightings in seven years – including a lion next to the M5 motorway. Gloucestershire Constabulary figures show they received 61 calls about what people believed were big cats in ...
Read on...

The big story today seems to be that of a Bristol barber who took a photograph that may have been of a big cat. The picture, however, as you can see, shows a very blurred print that may be from a felid but can't really be seen as conclusive evidence. At the risk of appearing cynical it looks as if the newspapers are jumping on the big cat bandwagon in an attempt to follow on from the big story in The Sun earlier this week.

Is this evidence of a big cat stalking Mendip Hills near Bristol?
This is Bristol
A BRISTOL barber believes he may have captured the paw print of a big cat stalking hills south of Bristol. Luigi Armato, 32, a barber in the city centre, snapped the print on his phone near the village of Binegar in the Mendip hills while out on a...
Read on...

The same story has appeared in two of the national daily papers (see below)

THE large print of a clawed paw is preserved in mud — the latest evidence of ...
The Sun
Now it's the Beast of Bristol: Giant paw print spotted in hills surrounding city
Daily Mail

We include the above links for the sake of completeness

In the very north of the UK, a series of sheep kills has prompted the locals to believe that a mystery cat not seen for some years has returned:

Has 'Skerray Beast' struck here again?
Sutherland Northern Times
And now, the people of Farr are wondering if the large puma-like cat has returned. The beast's modus operandi, marking it off from local scavengers or predators, was its ability to skin its prey every bit as neatly as any human being could.

Read on...




And also in Scotland...

Expert on prowl to solve 'big cat' mystery
Ross-Shire Journal

By Hector MacKenzie
This image shot by Lisa Sydenham of Tain, sparked a flurry of interest amongst big cat enthusiasts. THE mystery of a panther-like big cat spotted by a series of credible Ross-shire witnesses has been revisited by an acknowledged...
Read on...

I am not sure what to make of this picture. There doesn't seem to be any frame of reference so that one can tell the size, but the creature does seem very muscled. Perhaps a domestic moggy that has been eating steroids? I am basically joking here but would be interested to see what other people think of this picture.



And finally, Hinckley in Leicestershire was shocked recently by the discovery of the head of a muntjac in a tree. Was it the work of a big cat?


Mystery of the severed head on Burbage Common is solved
Hinckley Times
DOG walkers and others wanting to enjoy the picturesquely frosty scenes on Burbage Common can now do so without fear of a big cat attack. The mystery surrounding how a muntjac deer's head ended up in a tree has been solved - by the person who put it...

Nope: it was a bloke out walking his dog. His dog found it, and the owner took it away from the dog and put it in the tree to keep it away from the dog. I have a sneaking suspicion that a lot of stories are as simple as this if you dig hard enough.

3 comments:

Richard Freeman said...

The print is clearly a big dog.

Neil A said...

And the 'cat' is a domestic...the tail isn't long enough to be a 'big cat', i.e. melanistic leopard. Domestic cats can often be found skulking along headgerows, prowling for mice etc.

Web Owner said...

In my opinion the claw marks are those of a canine..Also only in my opinion the black cat is obviously a domestic. One only needs to look at the cat in conjunction to the tall grass behind it. I have recentley had breeder friends measuring their Maine Coons to get an overall perspective on feline lengths compared to that of the gloucestershire cat and similiar reported sightings..Head to bottom of spine were several inches longer in the Maine Coon than the cat other cats. This would also apply to the cat sightings in North Devon.