Cryptozoology, BioForteana, and Remarkable Species
Saturday, March 20, 2010
Tuesday, March 09, 2010
That Maine Gaboon Viper
A dead Gaboon viper was found stretched across a trail in Saco, Maine. The F&W warden said it was probably released the day before and froze overnight. (News source.)
Since this has now hit the crypto websites, let me add a few points to suggest that not all may be what it seems.
a) "But this one was dead, after succumbing to the cold of even a mild Maine winter night."
So, point one, nobody ever saw the snake alive in the wild.
b) "... the colorful viper stretched almost 5 feet and lay in the trail, much as the snakes do in their native sub-Saharan Africa as they lie in wait for prey."
So, the viper was supposed to be stretched out waiting for prey in March in Maine? With daytime times in the 40-degree range? Seriously? Snakes require heat to digest prey, and Gaboon vipers require far more heat than native snakes in Maine. With cooler temperatures, a Gaboon viper would have crawled off into the woods and disappeared inside a tree, probably to freeze to death and never be found again. Instead, this snake was found dead, stretched in a hiking trail where it was most likely to be spotted?
c) Gaboon vipers of this size and coloration are worth a few hundred bucks. Why release it when it wouldn't be hard to find a hobbyist (in another state, sure, to be legal) to take it off your hands? This isn't a 15-foot Burmese python, which is a bit more difficult to find appropriate-sized caging for.
A far more likely scenario: someone in Maine (illegally) owned a Gaboon viper that died on them. So, to create a prank, they stretched it out on a walking path.
And, while we're at it, let's note the idiotic statement of the Maine F&W warden:
"'They're not legal in Maine. You could not get a permit for that,' Spahr said. 'I don't even know if they would be legal in the U.S.'
"He said such a snake would probably have to be purchased on the black market – or on the Internet."
No, Gaboon vipers are not "illegal in the U.S." A simple internet search (and some common sense) would show that. No, the snake would not "probably have to be purchased on the black market." They are perfectly legal to purchase in many states, including here in Pennsylvania. Gaboons are often available at the venomous-included reptile shows. Venomous snakes are not good pets for everyone, but neither are many other animals that can still be kept safely and humanely by responsible pet owners.
Sunday, March 07, 2010
More Florida Monkey Capers
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
OOPAs: Escapees and Accidentals
Thursday, February 11, 2010
Australian Camel Cull?
Tuesday, February 09, 2010
Australia: OOP Monkey
Thursday, December 03, 2009
Texas Primate Sighting
Tuesday, December 01, 2009
WV Ostrich Egg Was Joke
Saturday, November 28, 2009
West Virginia Ostrich (Egg)
A guy in the West Virginia woods found a giant egg; the closest ostrich/emu farm is about three miles away, and they haven't lost any birds, though apparently there are rumors of loose ostriches in the region. And, yes, it does appear to be an ostrich egg. (Sorry, thunderbird enthusiasts...) (News source.)
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Monday, November 16, 2009
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Introduced Toucans in Grenada
Sunday, September 13, 2009
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Escaped Hippo Shot
Tuesday, July 07, 2009
Indiana: Wandering Wallaby
Sunday, June 21, 2009
Giant Out-of-Place Arapaima?
Alabama: Monkey on Loose?
Saturday, March 28, 2009
Ohio: Mountain Lion
Warren County, Ohio, has more reports of a mountain lion. Nothing new there, I looked into some sightings there several years back (a possibly released cat from a big cat owner who disappeared, leaving behind a tiger but not the cougar). That particular one wandered south. There are still occasional reports from Preble county, I've heard. (News source.)
Friday, March 20, 2009
Big Alien Spider
Sunday, March 01, 2009
Ohio: Zebra on Loose
Saturday, February 14, 2009
Big Cats in UK
Big Cats in UK
Thursday, February 12, 2009
Dholes Loose in UK
Friday, January 30, 2009
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Macaque Roaming Clearwater Area
Tuesday, January 06, 2009
Australia: Feline "Breeding Colony"
Sunday, January 04, 2009
Barbados: OOP Snakes
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Australia: OOP Gator
Friday, December 19, 2008
Escaped Monkeys Rounded Up
Thursday, December 11, 2008
"Croc" Sighting in Massachusetts
Wednesday, December 03, 2008
Lots of Felines in the News
Big black "feline" sightings continue in Australia. (News source.)
Mountain lion sightings alleged in Virginia, North Carolina, and Ohio (see image). [I tracked sightings of a probable released cougar in that same area of Ohio, Warren County, a number of years ago. Not a great area for an actual population, though there is farmland game.]
A mountain lion killed in Louisiana is being tested genetically to see if it is a Texas wanderer.
A black feline is reported from New York.
A tiger escaped from a West Virginia exotic game farm was killed after it tried to ambush its owner in the woods. (News source.)
Friday, November 28, 2008
Pennsylvania: Serval Shot
Monday, November 17, 2008
Another Sea Lion Found
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
OOP Sea Lion
Saturday, November 08, 2008
Manatee Dies in Delaware River
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
More on Cyprus Creature
Saturday, October 25, 2008
Still on the Loose...
Friday, October 24, 2008
Cyprus Croc Stories
Friday, October 03, 2008
Cape Cod Manatee
Thursday, October 02, 2008
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Moe Probably Didn't Survive
Monday, September 22, 2008
Friday, September 19, 2008
The NSW (Australia) premier wants to investigate the ongoing big cat sightings there. (News source.)
Blackstone, Virginia, and its newspaper, the Courier-Record, are investigating sightings of the eastern cougar. (News source.)
A loose tiger is one of the concerns in Galveston County, post-Hurricane Ike. (News source.)
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Toronto: Monkey Loose
Friday, August 22, 2008
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
FL: Monkeys Spotted
Thursday, August 14, 2008
"Giant Lizard" Caught
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Big Mystery Spider
Saturday, August 09, 2008
Saturday, August 02, 2008
Search for Moe Called Off
Monday, July 28, 2008
Lemur Sightings in Boston?
Friday, July 25, 2008
Australian Big Cat Reports
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Not Moe; Another Primate?
A lost hiker, later rescued, in the San Bernardino Mountains claimed to see a primate, which some thought could be the missing chimpanzee, Moe. (News source.)
"'I saw a monkey,' said Grace Carlos Hilario, 21, of Corona. 'It was dark gray and brown and it ran like a monkey.'
"Hilario became separated from her group while hiking in the San Bernardino Mountains last Thursday. She was rescued Saturday morning by helicopter near the Riverside County line, about 20 miles from where the celebrity chimp was last seen June 27.
"'She was lucid,' said San Bernardino sheriff's spokeswoman Jodi Miller. 'There was never any discussion that she was hallucinating at the time of her rescue.'"
But, the sanctuary owner says that this is unlikely: (News source.)
"The search party is taking all reports seriously, Camp said, but several factors raise doubts about whether Hilario saw Moe.
"Moe is about twice the weight Hilario described and black in color. The area where she was found is almost on the other side of the San Bernardino National Forest from where Moe escaped.
"'For him to get there, he would have to cross over numerous highways,' Camp said.
"Moe also is more likely to approach a person than run away, he said.
"Still, Camp said volunteers will pay more attention to that area of the forest, including possibly sending a helicopter to search the area if Moe's owners, St. James and LaDonna Davis, decide it is necessary."
Monday, July 14, 2008
Patas Escapees, Cont.
Thursday, July 03, 2008
Search Contines for Chimp
Monday, June 30, 2008
Monday, June 23, 2008
Saturday, June 21, 2008
Missouri Black Feline: Leopard
"Python" Shot and Lost
Friday, June 20, 2008
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Big Snake or Not?
From the Baldwin (Georgia) Bulletin:
"The Baldwin Bulletin recently filed a story about a large python snake that had been spotted on Lake Sinclair.
"In the week that followed, The Baldwin Bulletin sold out at nearly every rack and the newspaper’s phone lines lit up.
"So, have there been any more sightings?
"'No. We haven’t heard anything more. It’s actually been a full month since we’ve received a call,' said Corp. Lynn Stanford with the Georgia Department of Resources. 'I think that the snake either succumbed to its surroundings or its owner may have found it.'
"The DNR received roughly five phone calls from homeowners near the Twin Bridges and Haslam’s Marina side of Lake Sinclair during the first week of May. Witnesses said that the snake was between 6–8 feet long. The calls then suddenly stopped and no more reports have been received."
Hard to say without having seen the original published description, but if the length is the primary characteristic, it's possible that it was an exaggerated misidentification of a native watersnake.
Monday, May 26, 2008
Monkeys Still Loose
Saturday, May 24, 2008
More on the NC Cobra Scare
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
A North Carolina man reported seeing an 8-foot snake that reared up beside him while he was on an ATV in Cumberland County. A wildlife rehabber suggests it was a king cobra. Police are checking it out. Not enough of a description is given for me to determine whether or not the identification matches, but given that kings run about a grand (give or take), I doubt someone would just release one into the woods. Too easy to find a buyer. (News source.)
Thursday, May 15, 2008
More on Lake Hickory Gator
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
NC Crocodilian Report
Monday, May 05, 2008
A dead 12-foot python was found in a channel of Nippersink Lake (near Chicago, IL). It's thought that snappers may have eaten the head. (News source.)
(I'm thinking retic morph, as it's oddly patterned, but it looks like it is badly decomposed, so can't be certain from the poor images shown... doesn't appear to be a boa or Burmese.)
Thursday, April 24, 2008
Out-of-Place or Missing
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
Monkeys Can Swim
Roadrunner in Canada?
Saturday, April 19, 2008
Sea Lion Migrates South
Friday, April 18, 2008
More Chicago Cougar News
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Chicago Police Kill Cougar
Saturday, March 01, 2008
More UK Feline Sightings
Two more reports of black felines. (News source.) The first:
"Marketing and PR consultant Elma McMenemy, who lives at Barras, had a close encounter with the beast, which she described as similar to a panther, on Cheyne Hill while out walking her dogs on Tuesday morning.
"Mrs McMenemy's suspicions were first aroused when her dogs, both deerhounds, began scratching at a stone wall.
"She told the Leader: 'They were terribly attracted to the wall. One of my dogs jumped over it. I looked over to see what was happening and the cat stood up. It was right there, about three or four feet away from me.'
"Mrs McMenemy (56), said the cat was 'completely black, with a shiny, smooth coat' and the same height as one of her deerhounds - about 28 inches tall.
"'The dogs appeared to have interrupted its breakfast,' she continued. 'It had been gnawing at what looked like a deer's leg. My dogs gave chase, and it ran. It tried to take its meal with it, but dropped it a few seconds later'."
Another sighting involved a "cocker spaniel" sized, dark colored feline.
Saturday, February 23, 2008
Feline Sightings Worldwide
A UK fisherman reported seeing "a dark grey animal the size of a fox, with a long thick tail," on the other side of a Snodland lake. (News source.)
A Crawton (UK) woman saw a 3-foot-long dark colored feline about to attack a neighbor's cat. The locals call the creature "The Beast of the Mearns." (News source.)
The Chicago Tribune has an article on cougar sightings in the US.
Washington County, IL, may be home to a cougar, according to some residents. (News source.)
More "black cat" sightings from Australia. (News source.)
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
PNG Lizard Hunt Called Off
The search for a "Komodo dragon" reportedly roaming loose on the west coast of PNG has been called off, as it appeared to be a case of hysterical rumors with no substantial evidence that such a lizard was actually present. It may have been a hoax, or a misidentification. (News source.)
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
California Snake Identified
Tuesday, December 04, 2007
Cop Nabs Kangaroo
Friday, November 30, 2007
15-foot Snake Reported
Thursday, November 15, 2007
Tropical Hummingbird Relocated
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Florida Mystery Ape
There have been sightings of an "orangutan" around Glen St. Mary, Florida, a small Baker County town along the northern border of the state. From the news:
"A handful of folks say they've heard the call of an escaped ape.
"One family even found the grand prize: what looked to be an orange ape, nesting high in a tree.
"We talked on the phone with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission investigator who actually answered the original complaint call.
"He said there was definitely something up in the top of the tree, but he really couldn't be sure what it was."
Friday, October 26, 2007
Monday, October 15, 2007
Thursday, October 04, 2007
UK: Flying Squirrel or Sugar Glider?
Some sort of small gliding mammal has been spotted in Wimbledon Common. From the news:
"So far educated guesses on website Wild About Britain have included the Australasian sugar glider, the North American flying squirrel or another species of possum." ...
"Wandsworth's Kolin Barnz, who spotted the beast while on the commen, said: 'It was squirrel-like but its face looked more mouse-like, with long whiskers, black eyes and small ears.
"'As it jumped between trees, flaps of skin stretched between its front and back legs and it gilded to the next tree. I couldn't believe my eyes.' How the animal got to its new home is anyone's guess, but it is possible it could be someone's escaped pet."
Labels: out of place
Saturday, September 22, 2007
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
West Arctic Walrus
A pair of Inuvialuit hunters brought in a rare visitor to the western Arctic, a walrus, found in shallow waters near Banks Island. A genetic sample has been sent to the Department of Fisheries and Oceans for testing. The animal's parts were distributed throughout the community for various uses. (News source.)
Labels: out of place
Thursday, August 30, 2007
UK Feline Photograph
A daytripper to Great Hucklow, Derbyshire, has photographed a feline that some consider a possible big cat. The cat walked along a wall, giving an estimate of 3 feet in length and 18 inches in height. One investigator suggested it could be a young leopard or a hybrid cat. (News source.)
Personally, I don't believe the photo shown gives enough information to render a verdict.
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
Thailand "Mystery Turtle"
Villagers near Pattaya, Thailand, called the local newspaper to report a strange turtle caught by a local fisherman. The turtle was unknown to them, and had the "tail of a crocodile." Turned out to be a snapping turtle (North American), probably a farm escapee. Pictures at news site.
Wednesday, August 08, 2007
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
Colorado Pond Creature Hunted
Saturday, July 14, 2007
Friday, July 06, 2007
Another Suspected Gator
West Virginians suspect that a 6-foot alligator has been released into Twelvepole Creek, Wayne Co., WV. From the news:
"Gina White, a 26-year-old Wayne resident who lives along Twelvepole Creek, was out fishing with members of her family. It was about 2 a.m. The chicken livers they were using as bait attracted something that started swimming across the water.
"At first it looked like a huge snake. Then, as the creature got closer to view, the family members scrambled up the riverbank.
"'You could tell it was an alligator,' White said. 'It was coming straight toward us.'
"White stayed up until dawn, distressed by what she had seen -- and because nobody seemed to believe her. At daybreak, she got up and crept down to the riverbank. She saw it again.
"'It was kind of laying in the water, just lounging,' she said.
"She said she aimed her camera and snapped the fuzzy picture that has everyone in Wayne County talking."
Monday, July 02, 2007
Exotic Pet Ownership More Expensive
As of July 1, 2007 the state of Florida has assigned new laws regarding exotic species.
Class I Animal Owners must now have a $10,000 bond or $2 million insurance policy, while non-native reptiles (such as pythons) require an annual fee of $100.00 to own.
Will we be seeing an increase in releases in the near future?