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, February 18, 2014

UPDATED: Second Danish zoo giraffe in a week may be euthanised

This story that we first posted yesterday has been updated. Whilst we abhor the euthanising of animals for any non-medical reason, we also dislike poor journalism being twisted for political ends.


Giraffes in European zoos do not have the diverse genes of their wild relations
February 2014: The Born Free Foundation has expressed dismay at reports that, following on from the killing on February 9 of a healthy 18-month-old giraffe in Copenhagen Zoo, another male giraffe in Jyllands Park Zoo in Denmark is on ‘death row’.  Both giraffes were considered to be unsuitable for breeding because their genes are what is said to be ‘over-represented’ in European zoos.
According to the Foundation, slaughtering healthy zoo animals for convenience is irresponsible and indefensible and it is calling on the European Zoo community to take responsibility for ensuring that no animal is unnecessarily killed. It is also urging European politicians to address euthanasia in zoos, which are legally required to protect the animals in their care. According to the European Association of Zoos and Aquaria, zoos kill healthy animals to make way for more desired animals in their collections.
The Copenhagen Zoo authorities said that captive animals are being bred from too narrow a gene pool, leading to bone and joint weakness, susceptibility to disease and mental problems. Daniel Turner, captivity spokesperson for Born Free said, “The Zoo Community shamelessly ask the public to accept their alleged conservation and animal protection agenda, yet they continue to breed animals irresponsibly and now seem to kill them without exhausting all placement options.  Unfortunately, the killing of giraffe in zoos in Denmark is only the tip of the iceberg, as zoos in the UK and elsewhere also use euthanasia to manage their animal collections.”


Lars Thomas points out that this story is very misleading: "Before anybody gets too excited - this giraffe is NOT going to be put down. It was an answer to a hypotetical question that a reporter ran with, without actually stopping to think for a second. What the zoo actually said was, that IF they were to receive a female giraffe (they only have males at the moment), then they would have had to put one of their males down, if they couldn't find anywhere to put it."

CRYPTOLINK: Bigfoot NEW Sasquatch California Caught on Camera

A word about cryptolinks: we are not responsible for the content of cryptolinks, which are merely links to outside articles that we think are interesting (sometimes for the wrong reasons), usually posted up without any comment whatsoever from me. 


What has Corinna's column of Fortean bird news got to do with Cryptozoology?

Well, everything, actually!

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. 


The Gonzo Daily - Tuesday
Today we have not one, but two interns. Saskia has been joined by her friend Ellie and the two of them are off doing the animal round with Graham. The sight of a lanky old Hawkwind fan, pottering about the house, garden accompanied by two teenage girls trotting at his heels, is one that warms the cockles of one's heart!
I have just discovered a series of comic books by Bill Willingham, involving the exploits and adventures of a series of characters of myth, legend and fairy tale in modern-day New York. It sounds horribly twee, but - to my enormous surprise - it isn't. They are very deftly and wittily written with oodles of sex and violence, and clever plot twists that keep one interested, even when one is as jaded an old git as me. They have been gathered together into a series of 20 (so far) trade paperback graphic novels, and I have been happily working my way through them, and cluttering up the shelves of my library even more whilst I do so.
I have just found out that the series is planned to end next year but whether this goes for all the multifarious spin-offs or not, I don't know. The main series is called 'Fables' and - as Wikipedia precises it: The series deals with various characters from fairy tales and folklore – referring to themselves as "Fables" – who have been forced out of their Homelands by "The Adversary" who has conquered the realm. The Fables have traveled to our world and formed a clandestine community in New York City known as Fabletown. Fables who are unable to blend in with human society (such as monsters and anthropomorphic animals) live at "the Farm" in upstate New York.
Check it out; you might well be surprised.
Retrospective – “Trout Mask Replica” – Captain Beefheart
Remember, the Farplace Animal Rescue people need your help...
This issue features an EXCLUSIVE Pink Fairies interview, an exclusive interview with prog album artist Sandor Kwiatkowski, the return of the mighty Six Foot Three, Clepsydra box set details, a massively desirable slice of Acid Mothers Temple memorabilia, news about Hawkwind live next weekend, an oral hygiene tool endorsed by an Oriental dictator, A Communique from Pussy Riot, the Psychedelic Warlords live, and more news, reviews, views, interviews and brindled gnus (OK, no specialised African antelopes but I got carried away with things that rhymed with OOOOS) than you can shake a stick at. And the best part is IT'S  COMPLETELY FREE!!!
To make sure that you don't miss your copy of this and future issues make an old hippy a happy chappy and subscribe
PS: If you are already a subscriber but think that you haven't been receiving your copies please check your spam filters. For some reason known only to the Gods of the internet, some e-mail programmes automatically count the magazine as 'spam' probably because it comes from a mass mailer. Either that or they are just jealous of our peerless content
*  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: www.gonzo-multimedia.blogspot.com/2012/11/all-gonzo-news-wots-fit-to-print.html
* 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 54 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?


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 are publishing a regular round-up of the stories as they come in. 

The worldwide mystery cat phenomenon (or group of phenomena, if we are to be more accurate) is not JUST about cryptozoology. At its most basic level it is about the relationship between our species and various species of larger cat. That is why sometimes you will read stories here that appear to have nothing to do with cryptozoology but have everything to do with human/big cat interaction. As committed Forteans, we believe that until we understand the nature of these interactions, we have no hope of understanding the truth that we are seeking. 

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  • ANIMAL RESCUE: The sad tale of a baby robin

    LAST NIGHT I WROTE: A few years ago Graham and I went to the local tip and salvaged three old bedside cupboards and made hospital cages out of them. Today one was used for the first time. Lilith Tinkerbell brought in a semi-fledged baby robin, which we think probably fell out of its nest. It doesn't seem injured, though it is very frightened.

    The prognosis isn't good. But at least it has a quiet, warm, dark place to die if it is going to, which I assume is a more pleasant end than being eaten by a cat or dying of exposure in the sleet outside. Keep your fingers crossed. Exhortations to St Francis or Pan, welcomed.

    THIS MORNING: It went off into the little nest box we had given it, put its head under its wing and went to sleep. But during the night it died. We thought that it probably would but one has to try. And we will always do that.

    I never saw a wild thing sorry for itself. A small bird will drop frozen dead from a bough without ever having felt sorry for itself.  D. H. Lawrence

    OLL LEWIS: Yesterday's News Today