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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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Monday, June 24, 2013

MATT SALUSBURY: Big cats in Dorset - London Cryptoozology Club expedition, with Jonathan McGowan



Jonathan McGowan (above, with sika deer pelvis fragment which he says bears teeth marks from a Big Cat) is a Big Cat consultant familiar to readers of this blog from his talks at CFZ's Weird Weekend, kindly hosted myself and two others from the London Cryptozoology Club (LCC) in early June on one of his regular Big Cat surveys with the Dorset Big Cats Group.

He is a naturalist and works at Bournemouth Science Society, and also does taxidermy. (McGowan said he was busy with taxidermy at the moment, most of it restoring hundred-year-old museum exhibits. The century-old sea eagle he was restoring for the Dorset County Museum had to be moved off one of the armchairs when the LCC rendezvoused at his Bournemouth home.) To his dismay, McGowan's most famous for his roadkill diet, which accounts for all the meat he eats, and has seen him interviewed on TV and radio shows in the US and Russia.

While the leopards reported in the UK used to be almost exclusively melanistic (black) leopards, now we're seeing "more spotted ones," says McGowan. The "leopard wool" (below, the under-layer of fur) we later picked off the barbed wire fences at Purbeck was from a spotted leopard. 


Most people taking the chain ferry from Bournemouth over the estuary head straight for Shell Bay Beach (below, famous for its nudist colony) but few beach-goers are aware that there are "leopards on the beach at night." 

Read on...

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