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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Thursday, March 05, 2009

GUEST BLOGGER NEIL ARNOLD: Mystery paw-prints in Kent

It is with great pleasure that we welcome Neil Arnold to the CFZ bloggo with this first guest blog. I have known Neil for fifteen years now since he was a schoolboy with ambitions for adventure and I was an earnest young hippie who merely wanted to start a club for people interested in unknown animals. Nothing much has changed over the years. We are just both a tad older...

February has been a chaotic time for my research into exotic cats across the south-east, and one particular animal always makes great headline. The ‘beast of Bluewater’, a black leopard, has been seen a handful of times since January this year, and in February the Gravesend Messenger were eager to tie a set of mysterious footprints to the big cat. However, the tracks, which were discovered by four golfers whilst playing at Southern Valley Golf Club were nothing of the sort.
One of the witnesses, a Mr Bowles, photographed the tracks which he’d found during the morning in a frosty bunker. The impressions, when compared to a size 10 footprint, measured almost as long, and showed four claws on each ‘paw’, but an elongated heel. The prints were dismissed as belonging to a badger by a local badger expert, and the witness sent the images to Howletts Zoo, who told him they were probably made by a German Shepherd dog! However, after looking through many sets of tracks, I believed the impressions resembled those made by a wolverine, or another member of the mustelid family, the Fisher!

These animals are around two to three-feet in length, whilst the wolverine can reach up to four-feet. Mr Bowles mentioned that whatever made the tracks walked on all fours, and was roughly four-feet in length, the indentations of the fore-paws being slightly smaller than the rear. I sent the images to Richard Freeman who mentioned also that a wolverine could well be the answer, and mentioned that although such animals have five claws, the fifth is not always evident in tracks. There have been no local reports of such an animal, but I would like to know what everyone else thinks.

Paw prints: Wolverine (L) Fisher (R)

1 comment:

gh said...

i think i saw a wolverine in mowsley, near market harborough, leicesteshire today 9th march 2009. i don't want to seem foolish but it wasn't anything else - i tried to find something it resembled but wolverine it was. can this really be possible?