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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, May 18, 2018

CARL MARSHALL ON THE BIRMINGHAM "LION"

https://metro.co.uk/2018/05/17/woman-says-filmed-lion-roam-birmingham-7554322/

When the Birmingham "lion" first walks into frame its unsteady gait looks very much like a large and heavily built domestic dog, possibly a bull mastiff or a mastiff cross; and the colouration of the animal in the video also matches up very well with this powerful and popular breed.

Woman says she filmed a lion on the roam in BirminghamWhen the animal turns to the right and starts to walk parallel to the observer, its gait does become a little more feline in appearance (leading to all the confusion!) but conveniently for us, at this point in the video the animal's head and longer muzzle becomes less blurred, giving away the creature’s true identity as a Canid rather than a Felid, such as an escaped lion. 

Also, the crook in the tail is much more reminiscent of a canine's; though one must admit the crook in a lion's tail is far less pronounced than that of a leopard's or puma's and closer to the one recorded in this video. However, if I had to bet my own money identifying the animal in this blurry footage, I would say it was most likely a large domestic dog, maybe a bull mastiff; as I see many more canine features in the video as opposed to feline ones. 

I personally believe there are probably at least three species of non-native "big cats" living wild in the British countryside, in limited, yet viable numbers. However, this video and many other urban reports on file of alleged lion-coloured big cats, are actually nothing more than honest misidentifications of this large and powerful dog breed. 

Carl.

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