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.

Monday 17 November 2014


After the kerfuffle about the alleged tiger in the vicinity of Paris, it will do no harm to look at the question of out of place tigers in America.  It may surprise some readers to know that there are more tigers in the United States than in India.  However, they are mostly (possibly all) in captivity.  If the tiger species is to survive, captive breeding may be the only answer.  However, it has been alleged that some tigers are kept in unacceptable conditions.

now read on....

Out of place tigers have been reported wild in the United States from time to time.  In the 19th Century there was possibly a population of them in the Okefenokee Swamp in Georgia.  They were reported to be identical with Asiatic tigers.  Around 1840 a Mr James shot one there.  A doughty woman with a hoe when faced by one cut off its paw.  This specimen was later killed.  Another one was killed subsequently.  Where these animals came from and whether there are any of their species left there are mysteries.

These are not the only American reports of tigers on the loose.  In 1767 J. Carver reported seeing a "tiger of America".  Just what he meant by that one cannot say with certainty.  In 1823 a tiger was reported from Russelville (Kentucky).  A large striped cat was reported from Kentucky in the 1970s.  A big cat with brown stripes was reported from Marlington (West Virginia) in 1977.  Animals showing tigrine characteristics were reported from Pennsylvania in 1986 and Ohio in 1994.

What we are to make of all these reports I cannot say.  Perhaps there are some populations descended from escapees or even an unknown American species of American felid awaiting discovery.

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