At the beginning of the 21st Century monsters still roam the remote, and sometimes not so remote, corners of our planet. It is our job to search for them. The Centre for Fortean Zoology [CFZ] is - we believe - the largest professional, scientific and full-time organisation in the world dedicated to cryptozoology - the study of unknown animals. Since 1992 the CFZ has carried out an unparalleled programme of research and investigation all over the world. Since 2009 we have been running the increasingly popular CFZ Blog Network, and although there has been an American branch of the CFZ for over ten years now, it is only now that it has a dedicated blog.

Friday, 7 March 2014


Above you see the African wild dog (Canis pictus), an animal you cannot tame.  Why not? I hear you ask in a voice tinged with wonder.  

With your ordinary domestic dog he fits into the family setting because he considers the family or the group to which he belongs as his pack.  If he were in the wild, he would be in a pack of which the strongest dog is the Alpha male.  In the family setting, he regards the strongest human as the Alpha male.  (My dog, Sashy, seems to regard my wife as the Alpha male in our family, but that's another story).

However, among African wild dogs, when the Alpha male dies, he is succeeded by his son.  Someone else will not do.  In a human family there would, of course, be no human who was the son of a previous Alpha male African wild dog.  Believe me, it just doesn't happen.  Therefore, if you try to tame a Canis pictus, it won't obey you.  Therefore, it cannot be absorbed into a domestic situation.

Bearing in mind that primitive human societies do not work out that babies have a father as well as a mother for a long time, one wonders how the wild dogs know.  I suspect it has something to do with smell.

It is said that Princess Michael of Kent, when told of this, commented that it showed hereditary rulership to be part of nature.  However, that may be just a story.

The African wild dog, by the way, is also known as the Cape hunting dog and it has various other names.

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