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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Tuesday, June 18, 2013

ANDREW MAY: Words from the Wild Frontier

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

From Nick Redfern's World of Whatever:


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 by us in some way, so we should have a go at publishing a regular round-up of the stories as they come in. In September 2012 Emma Osborne decided that the Mystery Cat Study Group really deserved a blog of its own within the CFZ Blog Network.

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  • NEWSLINK: Big cat is out of his tree
  • MUIRHEAD'S MYSTERIES: Deer in Hong Kong

    The deer fauna of Hong Kong may be somewhat more complicated than modern zoologists have led us to believe. An early (i.e. c. 1910) Hong Kong wildlife book, possible by Bunbury or Skertchly, I can`t quite remember , mention two species in the then British colony, one the hog deer (Axis porcinus, type species India, Bengal) and another,perhaps the muntjac there now. One of the species was at Castle Peak in the western New Territories.

    In the 1860s, axis deer were introduced to the island of Molokai, Hawaii, as a gift from Hong Kong to King Kamehameha V. Today the deer are found plentiful on Lanai, another of the Hawaiian Islands. The Paniolos (cowboys) were instructed to lasso the deer from Molokai and to bring them for shipping to Lanai. Hawaii wildlife officials believe people have flown the deer via helicopter and transported them by boat onto the island. (1) 

    According to Introduced Mammals of the World `Axis deer `(Chital) from India have been introduced and established in the Hawaiian islands (Gottschalk 1967; Tomich 1969.) In 1867, seven axis (three males and four males) were shipped to the reigning monarch of Hawaii as a gift from his envoy in Japan. Some of these came from the Upper Ganges River.India, but some died on the voyage and were replaced at Hong Kong with animals of unknown origin (2) [Emphasis my own.]

    In Martin  Booth`s book  `Gweilo: Memoirs of a Hong Kong Childhood`(2004)  small red deer are reported from southern Hong Kong island. These we probably muntjacs.  Jon told me on June 8th that within the last 10 years some have come to believe that there are two species of muntjac in Hong Kong, Reeves muntjac and the Indian muntjac. This is interesting given the possible importation during the days of the East India Company (1600-1874)  of the axis deer (see above) or Chital deer from India,Bangladesh,Sri Lanka,Nepal or Bhutan to Hong Kong sometime between the early 1840s and 1860s. This is my theory anyway. The image  is of a chital, found in the Hong Kong newspaper The Star on July 29th 1977. There was a small herd of the deer on Lantau island then. So was there a continual population overlooked in Hong Kong for about 100 years?

    This 1977 story mentioned a virus or “mysterious disease which has owners [ of Ng Villa] Mr Luk Chi-wok and his wife baffled”(3) The Lantau Agricultural and Fisheries Department refused to help.

    1. Wikipedia
    2. Long J. Introduced Mammals of the World (2003)
    3. The Star (Hong Kong)  July 29th 1977


    In an article for the first edition of Cryptozoology Bernard Heuvelmans wrote that cryptozoology is the study of 'unexpected animals' and following on from that perfectly reasonable assertion, it seems to us that whereas the study of out of place birds may not have the glamour of the hunt for bigfoot or lake monsters, it is still a perfectly valid area for the Fortean zoologist to be interested in. So after about six months of regular postings on the main bloggo Corinna took the plunge and started a 'Watcher of the Skies' blog of her own as part of the CFZ Bloggo Network.

    DALE DRINNON: Notice

    Since I submitted my last blog on Longneck anatomy I have been receiving a constant barrage of essentially pointless reiterations of the same useless arguments against my case. For this and other reasons, there has been a delay in moving forward while I take the time to deal with this. In the meantime, I have an allied blogger who writes about the Maps of the Ancient Sea Kings and he is highly enthusiastic about adding his information on the topic to mine. Right now we are negotiating to see if it will be better to have him make new entries as a guest blogger or perhaps only to quote entries off of his blog from time to time.
    Best Wishes, Dale D.


    Well, I certainly did the right thing yesterday as far as choosing Vanilla Fudge as the Gonzo track of the day. I have never had so many cheerful comments on it. Actually, they are not a band that I know at all. I have heard of them, of course, but know nothing much about them. I think I will have to rectify that. Richard has had all his gear packed up and sent off ready for Sumatra, and I have rather good news. Animals & Men #50 is available at last. If you are a current subscriber you should be getting your copy within a fortnight or so. Many apologies for the delay.
    What's new on the Gonzo Daily?
    New Gonzo artiste Carol Hodge is also parrt of an exciting new project with Steve Ignorant, once of Crass
    What The Deviants, Gunslinger and others are doing next weekend

    *  The Gonzo Daily is a two way process. If you have any news or want to write for us, please contact me at  jon@eclipse.co.uk. If you are an artist and want to showcase your work, or even just say hello please write to me at gonzo@cfz.org.uk. Please copy, paste and spread the word about this magazine as widely as possible. We need people to read us in order to grow, and as soon as it is viable we shall be invading more traditional magaziney areas. Join in the fun, spread the word, and maybe if we all chant loud enough we CAN stop it raining. See you tomorrow...

    *  The Gonzo Daily is - as the name implies - a daily online magazine (mostly) about artists connected to the Gonzo Multimedia group of companies. But it also has other stuff as and when the editor feels like it. The same team also do a weekly newsletter called - imaginatively - The Gonzo Weekly. Find out about it at this link:
    * We should probably mention here, that some of our posts are links to things we have found on the internet that we think are of interest. We are not responsible for spelling or factual errors in other people's websites. Honest guv!

    *  Jon Downes, the Editor of all these ventures (and several others) is an old hippy of 53 who - together with his orange cat (who is currently on sick leave in Staffordshire) and two very small kittens (one of whom is also orange) puts it all together from a converted potato shed in a tumbledown cottage deep in rural Devon which he shares with various fish, and sometimes a small Indian frog. He is ably assisted by his lovely wife Corinna, his bulldog/boxer Prudence, his elderly mother-in-law, and a motley collection of social malcontents. Plus.. did we mention the orange cat?

    OLL LEWIS: Yesterday's News Today