Monday, 31 October 2011

Watch the Savage Shadow book trailer...


It has been a long time coming, but the re-print of this cryptozoological cult classic is finally here - just in time for Christmas! - from Strange Nation Publishing.

Part of the proceeds from this book will be directed to the charity created by the O'Reilly family in David's name - Fighting Chance Australia.

In the meantime watch the new book trailer to give you a taste of Savage Shadow

Cat or dog? A WA conundrum...


What is it? Felis or canid?


Aussie Ira Fehlberg, who shot the footage above, writes:

"A coupla years ago I was driving down a remote bush track doing some fishing exploring. Now I do a bit of travelling all round WA & Aus and much of it in pretty remote areas, like everyone I've heard the stories of big cat sightings and its something that I've always taken an interest in, its always in the back of your mind anyway...

So here I am early one morning, just after sunrise, driving down this bush track in the middle of now where. We hit some pretty goods corrugations and I happened to ask the mate (who shall remain nameless to protect his gumbyness) I was travelling with if he would mind getting my video camera out and getting a few shots of the corrugations for the home video I usually make of my fishing trips.

He got the camera out, took a bit of video and I said to him just leave the camera on for a bit in case there are some more good ones. The track was sorta random, okay in some spots but rough as in others, anyway the track came into a hard packed sand section and there is my mate with the camera in his lap switched on and rolling. We cruised on for a bit, I was prolly sitting on about 40ish and then all of a sudden bang there it was!

The first time it came into our view it was actually in the air, a metre and a half off the ground in mid air, halfway through a leap! It hit the ground halfway across the road, took a bound and it was off into the bush quicker than you could say what the hell was that! It crossed the road directly in front of us maybe 20-30 metres away.

Now I'll be totally honest and say that it all happened so fast that all I really saw was a big tan animal bound across in front of me! I didn't see the head or the tail, there was enough time to sorta see the main body and that was it, it was gone.

We both looked at each other and said what the %$#@ was that?! I braked hard and stopped right where it went off the track and we could see it running through the scrub to our left, "get out & get it on cam I yelled at my mate" as I was braking. The scrub was pretty high and before we even stopped I knew that the best chance I had of a clean shot was from an elevated position so as we stopped my mate got out and shot some video which looks like someone having a fit falling off a building, basically he tried to zoom right in and this bit of the footage is so shaky you cant see anything.

So I've done the whole stop the car, jumped out and in one motion (yes I can still move when I wanna) I've jumped straight up onto the bonnet and onto the roof of the 4WD. My mate threw the camera up to me and I quickly zoomed out and managed to get a few seconds of it running off. I was hoping it would stop and turn around of course but it never did. The footage you see of it running off is from this elevated position.

My gut feel initially was big cat, probably more just hope than anything but it was the right size and colour and the way it ran looked like a big cat but we both agreed we couldn't be sure positive as it never stopped or turned around and neither of us saw the tail or head.

We easily found the spot where it jumped across the road and I got some good shots of the prints it left.

To have any idea what it was I knew I'd have to show the tape to someone who knew about such things and I have a mate who has done a lifetime of hunting all around WA and he really knows his stuff. I showed him the tapes and he and his shooting buddy basically came to this conclusion. They say it was most likely a wild dog mainly because of the tracks it left, cats don't run with their claws out apparently. Do they come out when they jump but? I don't know...

However they both did concede that they couldn't say wild dog 100% for sure and that there was a small amount of doubt from two things that were a bit unusual about it. They said in all their hunting days in WA (100 years experience) neither of them had ever seen a wild dog that colour and they had never seen a wild dog yet that was all one colour like that, they reckon normally they are blotched or mixed colours sort of thing. They are pretty sure from the tracks that it was a dog but. I'm not expert but I think they are probably right.

Still it was a cool experience and it made me realise that even with a camera turned on in the car it happens so fast you've got to be so lucky to get it on video, if it did happen and the camera was turned off you'd be virtually no chance of getting it."

So readers, what do you think? Cat or dog?

Friday, 28 October 2011

The Hunter raises questions about ethics


All over the planet, a new wave of exploration and exploitation is taking place.

Bioprospectors are searching for new and useful biological samples and compounds from previously unstudied animals and plants. It’s big business these days, especially for the pharmaceutical and biotech industries.

It’s also controversial: who has the rights to these compounds? The Convention on Biological Diversity was established in 1993 to prevent biopiracy. Many countries also now ban the export of biological material from native species because they fear losing revenue from as-yet-undiscovered biologically important compounds.

The ethical and environmental issues surrounding bioprospecting are at the heart of a new movie – The Hunter. The film follows bounty hunter Martin David (Willem Dafoe) as he searches the Tasmanian wilderness to collect DNA samples from a thylacine (Tasmanian tiger) on behalf of a mysterious biotechnology company, Redleaf.

Thylacines were relicts from a time before Aboriginal people and the dingos they brought with them. Along with Tasmanian devils and the marsupial lion, Thylacaleo, they were once found across much of the Australian mainland. Thylacines went extinct on the mainland perhaps 2000 years ago, and there hasn’t been a confirmed sighting in Tasmania for more than 70 years.

Read more at The Conversation here.

Phylogeny based on the sequence cytochrome b. The mid-sized carnivore the Tasmanian Tiger is shown to be more closely related to the vegetarian Kangaroo, and bandicoots and possums, than to its ecological niche and functional equivalents the dog/wolf family. As well, the sequence of the vegetarian Panda is more similar to carnivorous Bears than to other herbivorous animals.

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Drivers urged to slow down, save a devil


Tasmanian drivers are being urged to reduce speed between dusk and dawn to reduce the number of Tasmanian devils killed on the State’s roads.

The Minister for Environment, Parks and Heritage, Brian Wightman, said the Save the Tasmanian Devil Program is stepping-up its campaign to ease pressure on the already endangered species.

“The Tasmanian Devil is much-loved and iconic to our community,” Mr Wightman said.

“As well as supporting the scientific fight against Facial Tumour Disease, we all need to work together as a community to help this precious species survive.

“We’re asking drivers to slow down at night to avoid hitting wildlife, as well as reporting any sightings of road-killed Tasmanian devils.

“I would urge everyone to keep a roadkill report form in the glovebox of their car, as a reminder of the devil’s vulnerability.

“Reporting sightings helps us track the extent and geographic patterns of roadkill across Tasmania.

“It also helps us monitor the spread of Devil Facial Tumour Disease,” he said.

Mr Wightman said the “slow down” warning to motorists is very timely because devils are on the move from November to March.

“Around this time of year, juvenile devils start to leave home to find a den of their own, so the mobile population swells considerably,” he said.

The Save the Tasmanian Devil Program Manager, Andrew Sharman, said safety was a priority, and road-killed devils should not be touched.

“Help from the community is greatly appreciated, and road safety measures should be observed when they stop to investigate a roadkill event,” Mr Sharman said.

“Photos taken with a mobile phone are very useful, but on no account should the devils be handled,” he said.

Mr Sharman said 370 reports from across the State were received in 2010-11 via reply paid forms, the www.tassiedevil.com.au website, and telephone and sms messages.

Roadkill report forms are available from outlets around Tasmania, including Service Tasmania and visitor information centres. A list of outlets and more information is available at www.tassiedevil.com.au.

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Baby wombat found in Ceduna is all white


A rare southern hairy nose wombat, all the rare for being white, has been rescued in Ceduna, Australia, and is recovering under the watchful eye of a wildlife carer after being discovered a month ago near the township alone and in poor condition, close to death.

Nicknamed Polar, the little wombat is now in the care of Val Salmon, an Aussie national wildlife rescuer. Salmon has been rescuing and taking care of wombats for four decades.


Polar isn't the first white wombat to attract the limelight in Australia.

'Stuart Little', as he was christened, was rescued and rehabilitated in care at the Maryknoll Wildlife Centre in Victoria, pictured below with a fellow patient, in 2009.


And there's this historical gem, proving even in the early 1900s white wombats were making an albeit infrequent appearance.

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Savage Shadow is in print once more

The new edition of the iconic ABC book Savage Shadow: The Search for the Australian Cougar is out now! Another Strange Nation Publishing special - from the folk who brought you Australian Big Cats: An Unnatural History of Panthers - this has to rate as one of the most hotly anticipated cryptozoological publishing events of the past 30 years (in fact, it is three decades since this book was first published).

For decades farmers in the southwest of Australia have been convinced that there are cougars at large in the Australian bush, devastating wildlife and livestock. Hundreds of sightings have been documented in Western Australia, from as far north as Geraldton, south to Esperance and inland to Norseman.

Australian journalist David O'Reilly became fascinated with what is known as perhaps Australia's greatest wildlife mystery during his time as the bureau chief of The Australian's Perth office.

He interviewed scores of witnesses - farmers, wildlife experts, academics and bureaucrats - and wrote many stories about the hunt for the 'Cordering Cougar', as it became known, during the late 1970s and early 1980s. His book Savage Shadow, now back in print for the first time in 30 years, is the culmination of that work.

You can buy the book at most online bookstores, but particularly Fishpond.com.au, Amazon.com and very soon (just working out the kinks) Amazon.co.uk.

Readers and fans of the cult classic will be pleased to know some of the proceeds from sales of the book will be directed to Fighting Chance Australia, a charity set up to provide age-appropriate, choice-driven services to young Australian adults with a physical disability.

So what's the connection?

Fighting Chance Australia was set up by David's widow Sue O'Reilly in his memory, and is run by two of his children, Laura and Jordan. The family's connection to disability advocacy came about through son and sibling Shane O'Reilly, who had cerebral palsy and died earlier this year. As you can see, it is a very special charity indeed, and one very special family, so we urge you to spread the word about their great work and/or donate if you can.

Monday, 24 October 2011

Qld yowie witness shares encounter


Over the years the CFZ Australia mob have amassed a reasonable amount of witness accounts on video, which we are now uploading to our Youtube channel for readers to enjoy.

Here is one such account, which occurred in south-east Queensland, just outside Brisbane.

Friday, 21 October 2011

Narrabeen's mysterious elephant man


A big thank you to David Hearder for digging up and sharing these gems about Narrabeen's mysterious elephant man (which also included a rare picture!) - a strange upright-walking humanoid elephant creature that lumbered across a Sydney road one evening in the late 1960s.

Witness Mabel Walsh was driving home with her nephew John when she saw the strange creature walk out of the lake and into nearby scrub.

"It was a bit over 4-feet tall, with dark grey, tough leathery skin, like an elephant’s. It had small front legs and walked on its hind legs, which were thick and round like an elephant’s… I didn’t notice a tail or ears, but it had small eyes and smaller front legs or arms. Its head reminded me of an ant eater’s. Its trunk was rigid, squared off at the end and stuck down and out at an angle.

"It had a strange shuffling walk, but was quite fast. It shocked me. It was a peculiar looking thing. I’ve never seen anything like it. We saw it only for a few seconds."

The sighting puzzled and intrigued residents living near Narrabeen Lakes, a large estuary that is a popular fishing spot.




Author and UFO researcher Bill Chalker looked into the elephant man sightings, which occurred around the same time as a rash of UFO sightings in the area, but concluded in his talk at the 2001 Myths & Monsters conference:

"It would probably be erroneous to speculate that the unknown creature reported above was related in someway to UFOs. There is no direct connection evident, and because the creature or one like it was seen again in the area, it would probably be more correct to suggest that the creature was an unknown species perhaps local to that area.

"During 1971 a lady was awoken by a terrible gurgling noise but saw nothing. Two fishermen in a boat, saw something by the light of a kerosene lamp. It had a trunk like an elephant and was walking on the water with its back legs. It was described as being grey in colour.

"During the late 1970s with nothing better to do, I spent a number of evenings loitering around the Narrabeen Lakes environs checking out the areas involved in these stories. Unfortunately no “elephant” humanoids were seen and I was not able to determine any substance to a prosaic “elephant” connection. It is interesting that humanoid elephant – headed beings are a major feature of Indian religios mythology – namely ganesha."

So what was the elephantine-looking creature, which also had a "head like an ant-eater"? A figment of imagination? An unknown species? 

Like us, David Hearder is still wondering. "No, I don't know what it could have been either, perhaps a disoriented frogman on exercise (police or navy)?"

Perhaps the last word should go to Mrs Walsh, who, as they say, knows what she knows: "Call me a nut if you will but there's a strange creature in Narrabeen Lakes."



Thursday, 20 October 2011

Reward to find shooter who maimed Fleet the koala


Fleet the koala, as he has been nicknamed by wildlife hospital staff at Australia Zoo, was senselessly attacked by some idiot with an air rifle while perched in a gum tree at Kippa-ring north of Brisbane, Queensland.

The poor six-year-old marsupial suffered pellet wounds to every part of his body. Donations of more than $2000 poured in from the public when news of Fleet's plight was known.

Happily, he looks likely to survive his ordeal and a reward is now being offered to find the identity of the dropkick who shot him. Under the Nature Conservation Act, the maximum penalty for harming a koala is $300,000 or two years in jail.


Wednesday, 19 October 2011

The Thylacines of Irian Jaya


Author Malcolm Smith's new blog Malcolm's Musings: Cryptozoology has some fantastic translated material about Thylacine sightings in Irian Jaya aka "Indonesian Papua New Guinea".

"In the early 1990s, an amateur researcher called Ned Terry told of visiting an unidentified mission station in West Irian and hearing reports of an animal strikingly similar to the thylacine. (See Bunyips and Bigfoots, pages 112 - 113.) Then, in 1997, small, contradictory paragraphs starting appearing in the world press about its presence in the Indonesian half of the island. About this time, I managed to renew my acquaintance with an old friend, Gerry van Klinken and was surprised to discover that he was now the editor of Inside Indonesia.
   
"Gerry was kind enough to go an internet search for me, and was able to discover what appears to have been the original article which started the ball rolling. It was from Suara Pembaruan ("Voice of Renewal"), a Protestant newspaper with good connections in Irian Jaya. The information itself appears to have originated from the local Indonesian governor. Here then is the translation. I might add that, although Gerry helped me with the vocabulary, the responsibility for the translation is mine, and I have aimed for verbal accuracy rather than elegance."

Read the translations here.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

From the archives: Bob the Railway Dog (1895)


Bob was a scruffy brown stray, bought on impulse by a railway man as a gift for his wife - but born with wandering paws and destined to make his mark on the railways as he travelled across Australia as far afield as Queensland, NSW and Victoria.

Recognised near and far for his cheery bark, waving tail, and devotion to train travel, Bob quickly became a beloved member of the tight knit railway community. 

According to the Petersburg Times: "His favourite place on a Yankee engine; the big whistle and belching smokestack seem(ed) to have an irresistible attraction for him....he lived on the fat of the land , and was not particular from whom he accepted his dinner."

He did not like suburban engines, because of their cramped cabs, but was known to clear out third class compartments for his sole use by "vigorously barking at all stations, usually succeeding in convincing intending passengers that the coach had been reserved of his special benefit". 

"His bark was robust and often caused strangers to believe that he was being aggressive when he really intended to be friendly."


When Bob finally died at the age of 17 he'd become a well-known fixture on the trains and his fame had spread as far as England. His passing prompted several newspaper articles including this eulogy:


A book has been written about Bob's exploits by Olwyn M. Parker and published this year by Brolga Publishing.


And of course a statue has been erected in his honour at the Peterborough Station.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Bobpbomount.jpg

Monday, 17 October 2011

Fortean Times Unconvention 2011


This year's Fortean Times Unconvention already has some great talks slated for the weekend. There's plenty of time to buy tickets (and book flights!) for the weekend of November 12-13.

Australian Tania Poole will be covering all the action for CFZ antipodean readers.

After the huge success of last year’s event, UnConvention is back and presenting a wide-ranging, two-day programme of talks and events devoted to the odd, the intriguing and the inexplicable, including speakers and scholars from every realm of forteana, from cryptozoology and conspiracy to parapsychology and ufology – not to mention dog philosophers, cursed stones and a certain talking mongoose called Gef!

UnCon 2011 will be held in the Camden Centre, a central London location opposite King’s Cross station, ideally situated for transport links and providing a fully licensed bar and cafĂ©.

Be sure to catch:

All Ape-men Great and Small - Richard Freeman
The search for unknown hominids continues – from the 10-foot-tall Yeti to the rather les imposing Orang Pendek. In November 2010, the Centre for Fortean Zoology took an expidition into the Garo Hills of Northern India in search of the yeti, or mande burung as it is know locally. They uncovered not only eyewitness reports and tracks but also stories of a monster snake unknown to science. In September of 2011, the CFZ mounted their fourth expedition to Sumatra in search of the Orang Pendek, building on the 2009 trip, where the creature was sighted and hair found. Richard Freeman will be giving full accounts of the results of these latest expeditions.

and...

Science and Sasquatch: the life of Grover Krantz - Brian Regal
Physical anthropologist Grover Krantz (1931-2002) was the most well known scientist to publicly champion the existence of the North American cryptid called Sasquatch—also known as Bigfoot. While he did not originate it, he actively promoted the idea that this creature was an evolutionary descendent of Gigantopithecus. For his efforts, he was dismissed or ignored by academics who viewed the Sasquatch as at best a relic of folklore and at worst a hoax, and also received a negative reaction from amateur Bigfoot researchers, some of whom threatened and abused him.

Friday, 14 October 2011

Drop Bears - they're coming to get ya!


We couldn't help but chuckle when this creative imagery came across our desk, courtesy of eagle-eyed CFZer David Waldron who spotted it doing the rounds in emails and Facebook wall posts.

For those unfamiliar with the 'drop bear', you can read this funny fictitious entry over at the Australian Museum. Who says scientists don't have a sense of humour?



New from CFZ Press - Glen Vaudrey's The Northern Isles


Mystery animals? Great Britain? Surely not.

These are not phrases which would normally be thought of in the same sentence. But it is true.

The zoogeography of the British Isles is not as hard and fast as one would have imagined; there are mystery big cats, sea monsters, strangely coloured variants of well known species, animals only known from a handful of specimens or even less, and a body of evidence to suggest that entire new species await discovery.

The Fortean zoology of these islands is even more impressive, with dragons, monsters, ghostly animals and weird animal folklore. For the first time, all these subjects are being gathered together under one, somewhat eccentric, roof.

The Mystery Animals of the British Isles is a major new series from CFZ Press, the publishing arm of the world's largest mystery animals research organisation. It will cover Great Britain and the Republic of Ireland, on a county by county basis, describing the mystery animals of the entire island group.

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Tasmanian Devil headed for extinction in 25 years


The Tasmanian devil, the world's largest surviving marsupial carnivore, could become extinct in 25 years if an infectious cancer would not be properly managed, experts predict.

The Tasmanian devil facial tumour disease (DFTD), thought to be transmitted by biting during mating,   was first detected in north-east Tasmania in 1996. Since then the cancer has quickly reduced devils' populations by 60%.

The findings were reported in the Journal of Applied Ecology, published by the British Ecological Society. Listen to a podcast interview on the findings here.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Author Tony Healy to speak at Braidwood's Cheese Factory

Authors Paul Cropper and Tony Healy.

In the early colonial era Aborigines often warned British settlers to beware of large, ape-like creatures that lurked in the forested mountains. They knew the creatures by many names, including jurrawarra, puttikan and doolagarl.
Soon the colonists, too, began to experience hair-raising encounters with the hulking, foul-smelling creatures, which they referred to as “Australian apes” or “yahoos”. Today they are generally referred to as yowies.

Tony began researching the yowie mystery in 1975. Since then he has interviewed more than a hundred eyewitnesses and searched for the damnably elusive creatures in every Australian state and territory. He has also ventured overseas in search of other semi-legendary ape-men such as the yeti, the orang mawas and the sasquatch.

In his talk Tony will outline the yowie saga from the pre-colonial era to the present day, concentrating particularly on stories from the Braidwood area, and will discuss some of the theories that have been put forward to explain – or explain away – Australia’s most baffling zoological mystery.

A few copies of The Yowie, In Search of Australia’s Bigfoot (Anomalist Books, 2006), which he co-authored with Paul Cropper, and which contains 300 carefully documented eyewitness reports plus a lot of Aboriginal yowie lore, will be available for purchase.

The Old Cheese Factory
~ Long Table Lunch with the Yowies ~
A presentation on the Yowie followed by a long table lunch at $33 a head. 
Bookings essential!
Sunday November 6th 2011, from 11am.

Reidsdale Rural Enterprises
The Old Cheese Factory
92 Sawyers Ridge Road 
Reidsdale
NSW 2622
Tel: 02 4846 1999


Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Sydney owls falling out of the sky


Sydney's owls are in trouble!

Very large numbers have been coming in to care throughout the metropolitan area and no one is sure why. Is it a virus? Poisoning? Is it related to the mouse plague?

Most of these owls are very underweight, and are showing signs of significant debilitation.

If you see an owl in this condition call WIRES immediately on 13 000 WIRES.

Hunt for the Orang Pendek 2011 - the video!

You've heard all about our expedition on this blog and elsewhere, now enjoy this short presentation on this year's expedition...

Monday, 10 October 2011

Panther spotted in Lithgow, NSW


The Lithgow Mercury has a story about another local big cat sighting:

"Lithgow's Black Panther has been here today and gone tomorrow leaving little evidence it ever was and those who claim to have seen it in total shock over the years.
The last reported sighting was in early August this year not far from Crane Road.

One long term resident of Lithgow, Marika Vervoorn, has also witnessed the elusive black panther in recent years up near her son’s property at Mt Walker and says people should not be sceptical about reported sightings.

“I travel up that road regularly,” Ms Vervoorn said.

“On one trip about five year ago the panther jumped out about 500 metres in front of my car.

“As it neared my son’s gate it turned allowing me to get a good look at its profile.

“It was definitely all panther in the face, black all over and as big a Rottweiler but heavier.”

Ms Vervoorn got in touch with a black panther researcher, Michael Williams, who told her there had been 600 sightings reported over the years in the area stretching from Jenolan Caves through to the Queensland border.

Mr Williams’ aim was to raise awareness that the black panther or panthers are out there and to report sightings in an attempt to keep track of this very shy over sized kitty on steroids."

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Is this evidence of the Orang Pendek?

An Orang Pendek handprint? Photo: Andrew Sanderson
CFZ zoological director Richard Freeman has had a third article published in The Guardian about our expedition in search of the Orang Pendek:

"Even in this age of satellite mapping and global positioning, there remain "lost worlds" where few humans tread and where species of animal unrecognised by science live. Kerinci Seblat National Park in West Sumatra is one such place. The size of a small country, its dim, steamy interior has never been explored properly. Last month I returned to these jungles for the fourth time to track an elusive and, as yet, unrecorded species of ape known to the locals as the orang pendek or "short man".

"This year's expedition was the largest of its kind ever to visit the area. It consisted of two teams. The first, made up of Adam Davies (expedition leader at the Centre for Fortean Zoology), Dave Archer, Andrew Sanderson and myself, would concentrate on the highland jungles around Lake Gunung Tujuh. The second team, consisting of Dr Chris Clark, Lisa Malam, Rebecca Lang, Mike Williams, Jon McGowan and Tim De Frel would have their base in the "garden" area – the more open, semi-cultivated land that abuts onto the true forest."

Read the full article here.

The CFZ's Richard Freeman wrote these two articles prior to the CFZ Sumatra Expedition kicking off.

On the trail of the Orang Pendek, Sumatra's mystery ape

Orang Pendek quest begins in Sumatra

Friday, 7 October 2011

More on that Queensland Tiger...


We reported recently via ABC Radio that a Daisy Hill family had spotted a Thylacine near their property. Queensland newspaper the Courier Mail has followed up the lead...

First there was reports of a black panther at Eagleby, and now Daisy Hill residents Lisa and Sean Smith believe they have spotted the extinct Tasmanian Tiger.

The world's last captive Tasmanian Tiger died in Hobart Zoo in 1936.

However, Mrs Smith said one could very well be living in the Daisy Hill Forest.

``A few years ago we were standing in the back yard and we (husband Sean and father Barry) saw this fox-like creature staring at us,'' she said.

``Then we looked at it properly and it didn't look like a fox at all, it had a long thin whippy tail, stripes on its back and it was a lot bigger than a fox.

``A few years ago we were in Tasmania and saw this book (on Tasmanian Tigers), and thought it looked a lot like what we saw. We sight it every now and then and can hear it screaming and making noises at night.''

With their home backing on to the Kimberly Forest Park which connects to Daisy Hill Forest, Mrs Smith said there was definitely something interesting in there.

``I'm happy to think something like the Tasmanian Tiger defied the odds and survived. We're trying to take a photo for proof next time we see it, but sometimes we won't see it for a year, then it comes back.''

According to the Tasmanian Government's Department of Primary Industrys, Parks, Water and Environment, the thylacine (Tasmanian Tiger), was the the world's largest marsupial carnivore and fossils and Aboriginal rock paintings showed that the thylacine once lived throughout Australia and New Guinea.

Rare albino whale visits Australian waters


A white whale calf spotted off the Whitsundays coast is believed to be just a few weeks old but it's impossible to tell yet whether the animal is related to Migaloo.

Species expert Mark Read, of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, said without DNA information experts would be unable to link the calf to the other famous white whale.

"We know from basic genetics that this animal could have come from a dark mum and dark father and Wayne Fewings, who took the photograph, said the female was in attendance was a standard dark humpback."

Wayne Fewings captured the white calf on camera while diving near the entrance to Cid Harbour last week.

Mr Fewings, who calls both the Whitsundays and the Gold Coast home, said he and his son's family were in a 4.5m runabout boat when the white calf, believed to be around 4m in length, and two predominantly black adult humpback whales swam towards them.

Thursday, 6 October 2011

OOPA: Cuscus a long way from home


A mysterious spotted creature dropped off at a zoo in China is actually a type of possum most likely smuggled into the country as a novelty pet.

Keepers at Wenling Zoo in south-eastern China were baffled by the bug-eyed, long-tailed critter, after it was handed in by an unknown man last week.

But not long after the zoo was contacted by Danny Li, an animal enthusiast who lives in Hong Kong, who told them it was a spotted cuscus — a marsupial native to northern Australia, Papua New Guinea and Indonesia's Maluku Islands.

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

A Queensland Tiger spotted near Ipswich


Apparently there's a Tasmanian Tiger in Daisy Hill!

Flinders View resident Barry Potter says he's seen it - and even heard it growling.

His daughter Lisa and her husband Shaun built their home backing onto Daisy Hill Forest 5 years ago and it was then that Barry first saw the animal.

Listen to Barry Potter, then Matthew Shaw from the Queensland Museum Inquiry Centre, on ABC Radio.

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

On the Track - Episode 50


The latest episode of On The Track of Unknown Animals (Episode 50) from the CFZ and CFZtv, brings you the latest cryptozoological, and monster hunting news from around the world, including:

  • CFZ in autumn
  • introducing Dan
  • Emily and the big cats
  • Sumatra expedition
  • Preparing trailcams
  • Crocodile stories - a Phillipino giant - short sightedness in The Phillipines - let's all do the taxonomy shuffle
  • Changes at the CFZ
  • Happy Birthday Max
  • Corinna looks at out of place birds
  • New and Rediscovered: New dolphin
  • New and Rediscovered: New frogs
  • New and Rediscovered: New sparrow



Monday, 3 October 2011

Noisy koalas give cows a run for their money


A 15 pound koala is as loud as a cow weighing more than a tonne, a new study found.

Researchers discovered the marsupial emitted a louder sound as a way of attracting sexual partners during mating season.

The team of Australian and Austrian scientists, writing in The Journal of Experimental Biology, also found their cries were a way of boasting about their body size and intimidate rival lovers.

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