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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Wednesday, October 07, 2009

SIMON REAMES: Giant Anaconda hunt in Bolivia

I have been meaning to contact you and Richard since I got back from Bolivia to let you know about the giant anaconda stories that Richard asked me to look into.

I asked around and although I didn't see any anacondas myself, the locals said that they were about and that they usually grow to around six to seven metres in the area that we were in. Of course there are stories of huge snakes but no one had seen any personally. We also checked out a small cave where anacondas were supposed to be present but found no signs. I managed to crawl to the end of the cave and found no snakes of any sort but the cave did continue and I could see openings further on but with my head touching the ceiling and my chin scraping on the ground and the water level just below by nose, I thought that it was time to turn back. There was no way that I could've gone on any further anyway as the opening was about the size of a basket ball. The cave was full of bats (unsure of the species) and the locals did say that during the rainy season (which should be about now) that giant bats (possibly vampire bats) inhabit the caves. These bats were supposed to have wing spans of up to a metre. I don't know if this is possible or not but the locals seem convinced that it is so. The locals were also very nervous of this cave. One of our guides would not leave the mouth of the cave and made sure that he had a machette in his hands the whole time we were exploring this cave.

So, unfortunately no sign of any giant anacondas on this trip.

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