Thursday, 29 November 2012

OOPA: Emu loose in North Devon

A fugitive emu that went walkabout in a north Devon town has been apprehended by the police.
Amazed residents called the police and two officers seized the flightless bird before it could wander into rush-hour traffic in Barnstaple.

They held the animal – originally a native of Australia rather than south-west England – in the back of their patrol car for half anhour before an animal ambulance arrived and took it away.
Officers are searching for the owner of the bird.

Acting Sergeant Zoe Parnell said she had just begun her shift at 7am on Wednesday when she got a call that an ostrich was on the loose in Riddell Avenue, a residential street in the town.
"I thought it was a wind-up," she said. "I thought we'd arrive and it would be a turkey or something like that." She rushed to the scene, where she was joined by police community support officer Stephen Huxtable.

Parnell said she wasn't sure what the creature was but knew that they had to stop it reaching the main road, where the bird could have caused rush-hour chaos.

"It was trying to get into people's houses. Obviously it was finding that difficult, and would try the next one. I must admit that while I'm not normally scared of birds, I was a bit nervous with this one."
It fell to Huxtable to seize the bird and put it in the back of the police car.

Like many others apprehended by the police, the emu was not happy. "There was a lot of wee-ing and poo-ing and flying feathers in the back of the car," said Parnell. "It's going to have to be specially cleaned."

She thought about giving the bird a drink from her water container "but it was a bit distressed so I thought it was better to leave it", she said.

Instead, the officers called for backup from Diana Lewis, north Devon's "animal angel" and a leading light in North Devon Animal Ambulance.

The emu remains in her care while the search for the owner continues.The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said it was not necessary to have a licence to keep an emu.
However, Wendy Higgins of the Humane Society International/UK flagged up concerns: "In Britain, we keep more exotic wild pets than cats or dogs, and often residents can be completely unaware they are living next door to a python or a primate. Often it is only when an escape or an accident occurs that their existence is revealed.

"Unbelievably, there is no definitive national register of the number and variety of exotic animals being kept in the UK or traded globally.

"Wild and exotic animals are not pets, but a welfare disaster waiting to happen. It is high time the appalling commerce in wild animals for the pet trade was brought under serious control and preferably banned altogether."

Emus used to fall under the Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976 but have been delisted.
Higgins said: "However, the list of species covered has been seriously reduced, many local authorities fail to effectively enforce he legislation, and there are serious questions regarding the competence of those that do. As a result, non-compliance levels are believed to be high."

*Barnstaple is not far from the headquarters of the CFZ UK - If they never find the owner, perhaps Jon Downes could take it in!

Monday, 19 November 2012

Yowie spotted in upper Blue Mountains, NSW

The new Blue Mountains Cultural Centre opened on the weekend and thousands of locals poured through the doors to see firsthand the flash new library and art gallery, and the breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape from the expansive lookout/verandah.

But as the CFZ posse wandered the large, spacious rooms and admired local art created by local artists both new and old, we were gobsmacked to see...a Yowie!

Not a real live hairy beastie, you understand, but an artistic representation of one created by Aboriginal artist Shaun Boree Hooper of the Wiradjuri people in 2009.

It's quite an eye-catching piece of artwork as you can see.

If you're visiting the Blue Mountains, be sure to stop in at the centre and check it out.

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Our new top five - and Devils still rule!

It's always interesting to see what rates as our most popular posts over time.

Interestingly, the only story to make the top five again more than a year later is the Tassie Devil Road Kill Project! A novel project launched by the Tasmanian State Government to reduce the number of Devils being killed on roads.

Here's the latest round-up (for an earlier round-up in May 2011, go here):

Thousands of fish die at Sydney airport
Jan 10, 2011 - 8769

Scientists save Tasmanian Devil eggs, sperm
Dec 5, 2011 - 8527

Tassie Devil Road Kill Project
Nov 8, 2010 - 6021

Taxonomy fails - the infamous 'Cat Found' poster
Feb 17, 2011 - 5669

Hunt on for NZ's mystery moose
Apr 12, 2011 - 4403

Snarls From the Tea-tree looks at Victorian big cat reports

The Australian big cat phenomena gets the academic treatment from David Waldron and Simon Townsend, who have penned an examination of Victorian reports in their new book Snarls From the Tea-tree: Victoria's Big Cat Folklore.

Check out the book blurb:

Big cat scares have for generations haunted Victorians; stories of stock killed, claims of paw-prints left behind, rumours of 'beast' attacks only breeding the 'myth'.

Often there was a large local response, with massive bushland hunts that focused on the notion of escaped lions, tigers or other big cats.

The 'myth' of the big cat has evolved over time, but relates closely to Australia's engagement with its environment.

Waldron and Townsend study this big cat folklore evolution across Victoria.

Cryptozoology Journal comes to Australia

The Australian orders for Volume One of The Journal of Cryptozoology will be sent out shortly.

Thank you everyone for your support, this will be an unbeatable read!

Read more about the journal here.

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Great snakes! Watch where you sit...

Funny how the job advertisements at these mines in Outback Australia always skim over the 'small' things, like having to live with hundreds of other sweaty, dirty men, paying a fortune to live in a caravan and...having to fish deadly snakes out of toilets!

This sequence of photos is doing the rounds in Australia, and supposedly harks from an unnamed workplace in the Pilbara region of Western Australia.

This fierce creature was found tucked up under the toilet, hovering just above the S-bend - thankfully before the photographer settled down on the seat.

Perhaps a redback spider would have been preferable after all!

And for the snake-phobic, there is really only one way to deal with such an inconvenience...but wouldn't have been easier going behind a bush?

No word on the snake's fate.

Friday, 2 November 2012

The Journal of Cryptozoology debuts!

Volume One (November 2012) of The Journal of Cryptozoology is now available, and contains two excellent Australian reports (see below). Buy it here!

Following the demise of Cryptozoology (published by the now-defunct International Society of Cryptozoology), there has been no peer-reviewed scientific journal devoted to cryptozoology for quite some time. 

The Journal of Cryptozoology has been launched to remedy this situation and fill a notable gap in the literature of cryptids and their investigation. 

For although some mainstream zoological journals are beginning to show slightly less reluctance than before to publish papers with a cryptozoological theme, it is still by no means an easy task for such papers to gain acceptance, and, as a result, potentially significant, serious contributions to the subject are not receiving the scientific attention that they deserve. 

Now, however, they have a journal of their own once again, and one that adheres to the same high standards for publication as mainstream zoological periodicals.

This volume contains:
  • Editorial - Karl P.N. Shuker
  • A Digital Search Assistant for Cryptozoological Field Expeditions - Andrew May
  • The Queensland Tiger: Further Evidence on the 1871 Footprint - Malcolm Smith
  • The Second 'Scapasaurus' (Re)Discovered - Markus Hemmler
  • Identifying 'Jaws', the Margaret River Mammal Carcase - Darren Naish


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