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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Tuesday, May 03, 2016

MUIRHEAD`S MYSTERIES: Odd coloured bears.

Carl Marshall, CFZ correspondent, and myself have been looking at Ursidae mysteries including odd behaviour and colouration, for my Flying Snake magazine issue 10  .See Carl P. Marshall  `Unexpected Ursidae A Selection of Crypto Bears , hybrids and behaviour`  I have found some more stories in the last few weeks since Flying Snake was published at the end of March 2016. However just to mention first that one of these anomalous bears which featured on Web sites in 2015 and had a blue head, as if the head had been dipped in blue paint! It was photographed (or Photo Shopped?!) in Silvermere Lake, British Columbia, Canada. Other odd coloured bears include pink ones (oh yes!) .For example:

"An extraordinarily large polar bear, the fur of which is a bright pink colour, has been captured in Northern Siberia. The animal will be sent as a present to the Czar." April 20th 1891.Repository,Canton,Ohio. Also in The Macon Telegraph  July  7th 1931 : “Himalayan hunter reports seeing a pink bear. However it may have been an ordinary bear tickled pink at the thought he doesn`t have to put anything to go out of doors these hot days.” 

I posted these two stories on the Fortean Times Forum Message Board on April  26th and the same day someone calling her/himself EnolaGaia replied thus: “Even though polar bears look white, their hair is really made of clear, hollow tubes filled with air. Scarring or residue on the fur can cause the “white” fur to appear to human eyes as cream colored, yellow, or even pink in the Arctic light”.

EnolaGaia also pointed out that the most common fur dis-colouration was green due to algae (and I once saw a  green “Peppermint Pup” in Middlesborough but that ,as they say,is another story)

I found a  story by Dickens called `Too Much Blue` in the American and Commercial Daily Advertiser (Baltimore, Maryland) of August 9th 1852 in which a Green Bear at Namur ,Belgium is mentioned but this could of course be total fiction. The pub or inn I mean ,if that`s what The Green Bear was. 

Concerning green bears, The State Times Advocate (Baton Rouge, Louisiana) of September 15th 1971 reported that Jacksonville Zoo in Florida had  a green-tinged bear but it wasn`t able to look after it properly because the zoo was so dilapidated.

A blue bear turned up in Alaska according to The Oregonian of October 14th 1963 and  supposedly  “the genes that produce this freak colour are found only in a few bears in the Yakutat - Glacier Bay area of Alaska.”


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