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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Unlike some of our competitors we are not going to try and blackmail you into donating by saying that we won't continue if you don't. That would just be vulgar, but our lives, and those of the animals which we look after, would be a damn sight easier if we receive more donations to our fighting fund. Donate via Paypal today...

Friday, September 16, 2011


As I wrote to Mr Ludward a few minutes ago:

"Thank you for that, it is very kind of you. I can tell you exactly what it will be spent on. One of the two main office computers gave up the ghost in May, and your kind donation will go towards buying its replacement, which will hopefully be powerful enough to manage the new archive database we are trying to set up."

ANDREW MAY: Words from the Wild Frontier

News and stories from the remoter fringes of the CFZ blogosphere...

From Nick Redfern's "There's Something in the Woods...":
From CFZ Australia:
From CFZ New Zealand:

OLL LEWIS: The State of the Sumatran Rhinoceros

Whilst there is still no news from Sumatra, Oll is hard at work looking at the forteana of that strange island...

Another of the fantastic and unusual creatures found in Sumatra is the critically endangered Sumatran rhinoceros (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis). The Sumatran rhinoceros is the only member of the genus Dicerorhinus and is also known as the hairy rhinoceros because of the long hair that covers its body. Because populations of the species have become geographically isolated over time, three distinct subspecies have evolved. These are the Western Sumatran rhinoceros (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis sumatrensis) found on the island of Sumatra itself and the Malaysian Peninsula, the Eastern Sumatran rhinoceros or Bornean rhinoceros (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis harrissoni) found only in the Tabin Wildlife Reserve in Borneo and the Northern Sumatran rhinoceros (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis lasiotis) once found in India and Bangledesh.

All subspecies are critically endangered as there are less than 300 individuals left in the wild, but the situation is especially bad for the Eastern Sumatran rhinoceros as they are now thought to be present in only one area of national park in Borneo and single sites like this can be easily wiped out by natural disasters and disease can have a devastating effect on them, potentially completely wiping out all individuals. There are thought to be only 50 surviving Eastern Sumatran rhinoceros so they are likely not to be very genetically diverse which would also have a serious impact on the sub-species’ susceptibility to disease both in terms of potential genetic immunity and in an increased likelihood of genetic abnormalities.

Things may be even worse than that for the Northern Sumatran rhinoceros, as it may be extinct already. The Northern Sumatran rhinoceros once ranged across India and Bangladesh but it is thought that not a single Northern Sumatran rhinoceros survives in these countries having been wiped out by habitat destruction, disease and poachers. Poachers target the rhinos because of the high price that the creature’s horn fetches on the black market for use in Chinese medicine which is particularly galling because the powdered rhino horn used in Chinese medicine as a fever treatment is chemically and structurally identical to ground up fingernail cuttings, are people who bite their fingernails any more healthy than the rest of us? Not the last time I checked! Although declared extinct it is thought possible that there may still be an extant population in Burma but scientists have not been able to verify this for many years because of the political situation that exists there. Sadly it is very likely that poachers would have taken advantage of the situation and there is very little chance this population survives to the present day.

The outlook for the Western Sumatran rhinoceros, although less bleak than that of the other sub-species, is still dire due to its low population. Conservationists are doing the best that they can with what they have to work with and the Western Sumatran rhinoceros is protected in five locations, four in national parks in Sumatra and one on the Malaysian peninsular. Due to the rarity of the species attempts were made in the 1980s and 90s to breed the species in captivity. In 1984 40 rhinos were taken from the wild and into zoos in an attempt to get them to breed. None did. The program was a complete and abject failure and the IUCN noted that the program had failed to even keep the animals within the acceptable limits of mortality with 20 of the rhinos being dead by the mid 90s. Further casualties arouse within the Sumatran Rhinoceros Conservation Centre in Malaysia in 2004 when an outbreak of surra killed all but eight of the captive rhinos there.

All but one of the survivors were sent to the USA and by 1997 the project had been all but abandoned and only three of the captive rhinos survived in zoos dotted across the USA. No doubt realising what a senseless waste it was to have the animals apart, the remaining three captive animals were reunited in Cincinnati Zoo for one last attempt to get them to breed. All attempts ended in failure, although one of the females became pregnant 5 times these were never carried full term, until 2001 when the zoo-keepers treated the pregnant rhino with hormones and the baby was carried to full term. This was the first successful captive birth of a Sumatran rhinoceros since the 19th century and the first of three successful births at the zoo to date. The first rhino calf has since been sent back to Sumatra to take part in breeding programs in the natural habitat there.

Captive breeding in zoos of Sumatran rhinos, even with Cincinnati’s success, is now considered to be a poor substitute for letting the animals breed in the wild in well protected habitats and reserves. However, because of the threats facing the Sumatran rainforests from legal and illegal logging and palm oil plantations it is certainly possible that captive breeding may have to form a part of future conservation programs.

HAUNTED SKIES: Special Blog to celebrate Volume 3


OLL LEWIS: Yesterday's News Today


On this day in 1956 Rhodigan Davis invented the robotic clam. He had hoped to raise an army of the robotic clams in order to take over the town of Rainham in Kent as part of a long running blood feud with his home town of Groombridge, however a bitter patent despite with Hank Wayland, the American inventor of the cyborg scallop, delayed mass production until 1972. Unfortunately by this time Rainham had installed extensive anti-robotic clam defences and Davis died a penniless, bitter and twisted old man two weeks later.
And now the news:

Tree Resin Captures Evolution of Feathers On Dinos...
New Bolivian bird species on the edge
New Zealand fishing policy threatens seabird popul...
89,225 birds slaughtered…so far! – Sign the petiti...
Cat that went missing in Colo. 5 years ago is foun...
Ancient Mosaics Reveal Changing Fish Size
Mountain Lion sightings on the rise in the Ozarks ...
Bone To Pick: First T. Rex Skeleton, Complete At L...

Well it's got a skeleton in:


Dan has very kindly just bought us a pair of night vision scopes. They arrived this morning, and Graham and I are very much looking forward to playing with them after dark this evening...

Thanks Dan


The Bigfoot Forums website http://www.bigfootforums.com/
was down for some hours last night. This appears to have been something to do with the ISP, and nothing to do with us, but the CFZ would like to apologise for any disruption caused.

We would also like to Paul Vella who has kindly offered to fund the BFF's move from the current ISP to a virtual server.

CFZ NEW ZEALAND: Endangered whales under Threat.

Check it out...


Newest on the Frontiers of Zoology are a gouple of unidentified Gold Objects from one ogf the South American cultures where Ivan Sanderson had previously found Unidentified Gold Objects:

I finally finished the article for Frontiers of Anthropology:

And in case anybody is interested, there are two more postings on the fictional projects site with Cryptozoological references:


The last cover on the Thomasina series was originally supposed to be with Mngwa, only I changed it because I thought the Sabertooth was more dramatic. Besides my brother Benny has an old joke-reference about a Sabertooth cat that fell in love with Joan Blondell, and that works in there, too. BTW, there was once a Wonderful World of Disney serial about The Nine Lives of Thomasina, about a cat, and that is what I took the name from.

Best Wishes, Dale D.