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, March 07, 2011

GLEN VAUDREY: I'll go the Whole Wide World #12

Guyana was formerly known as British Guiana so it is perhaps not that surprising that they play cricket and its not unusual to find a Guyanan-born player in the West Indies team. The country is also known as the place where, in 1978, Jimmy Jones managed to instigate the deaths of 918 members of the Peoples Temple cult with the aid of a cyanide-laced Flavor Aid drink. But it isn’t just poisoned soft drinks that could spell danger there is also the Waracabra Tiger to watch out for.

While many mystery cats could be dangerous (and you will certainly read more about some of them in the coming months as we travel the whole wide world) could there be anything more frightening that the Waracabra Tiger? Why should this mystery animal be such a terror? Well, they are described as being jaguars that hunt in a group.

The jaguar is the largest cat to be found in the wild in the Americas and is a fearsome predator in its own right, but if stories of the Waracabra are true there is a jaguar-like animal that runs in a pack. In 1898 Henry Kirke wrote in Twenty-Five Years in British Guiana of the animal ‘the Indians profess the greatest terror of.’ It seemed that when the natives heard the howls of the beasts they headed for their boats and sought safety surrounded by water.

Of course not everyone is convinced that the Waracabra Tiger really is a big cat; there is a theory that it just stems from sightings of the bush-dog - the trouble with that theory is that the bush dog is a lot smaller than the jaguar and not known for its howl.

Once again it appears that another cryptid mystery awaits a solution but one thing is for certain: if you go looking for the Waracabra Tiger make sure your boat is nearby.

Next stop: Venezuela

1 comment:

Retrieverman said...

Not only do bush dogs run in packs, but the giant river otters do, too.

Those otters make a lot of noise, and even jaguars won't mess with a pack of them.