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, June 11, 2012

BIG CAT NEWS: The Beast of Bont

The hunt for British Big Cats attracts far more newspaper column inches than any other cryptozoological subject. There are so many of them now that we feel that they should be archived in some way by us, so we should have a go at publishing a regular round-up of the stories as they come in.

It takes a long time to do and is a fairly tedious task so I am not promising that they will be done each day, but I will do them as regularly as I can. JD

News from the Edge Mystery Cats Back in the UK unknowncountry

The Big Cats are back, stalking the fields of England and mutilating sheep. Locals have reported sighting a mysterious, unknown creature they call the " Beast of ...

Like many commentators, I sincerely doubt whether these recent predations, which newspapers have attributed to 'The Beast of Bont, have anything to do with mystery cats at all..

1 comment:

Dan said...

This appears to be a recycled version of the last lot of national newspaper reports of an incident of sheep killing. Several things stand out about this report:

Firstly, the local newspaper for the area, the Cambrian News, hasn't printed a word about it. Not all that much happens in mid-Wales, so what little of interest does happen gets reported by the Cambrian News; evidently the reporters of this journal did not think the sheep kills worthy of comment.

Secondly, "Bont" is merely Welsh for "Bridge". The closest area to that referred to which could be termed Bont is the Bont Goch area (Red Bridge), but the reports quoted cover an area of fifteen by twenty miles or so, of fairly rugged terrain consisting of mountains with fairly lush valleys. It is hard to imagine one big cat ranging over so large an area; more likely the newspapers are lumping everything remotely Fortean into one report.

Thirdly, these reports don't sound like cat kills. A cat killing sheep in an unenclosed environment would kill one and eat that almost completely; it would not race round like a lunatic maiming and killing several animals. Sheep-worrying dogs, on the other hand, are known to do just that for the fun of it.

What I think is going on is that a relatively low number of canine sheep-worrying incidents is being reported on by just the national press, who are using the "news" as space filler. The likely culprits are likely to be one or more lurchers escaped from deer poachers. A common Gypsy trick is to teach a lurcher never to approach it's owner when there is someone around whom the dog does not recognise; this prevents the embarrassment of merely happening to be out walking completely innocently along a lane, merely taking the air don't you know, when some uncouth local accuses you of poaching and your faithful long-dog comes running up with evidence right there in its mouth. An air of unjustly put-upon innocence is so much easier to assume in the absence of evidence.

One can quite easily imagine the scenario: a few poachers just happen to be out appreciating the night air when all of a sudden half of Dyfed-Powys police pounce on them and arrest or seize everything present. Any properly trained lurcher is simply going to make its self scarce for the duration, and if nobody comes to pick it up again it'll go feral. There are known cases of feral lurchers being responsible for months of hassle for farmers, never seen or suspected save for damage to livestock. In such cases the only remedy was to beat out all the woods to a line of guns, and shoot the offender (along with any other likely culprit that showed its self).

Whatever the scenario, this is definitely NOT a cat of any description.