Here's the official press release on the Center for Fortean Zoology's expedition to Guyana in search of mysterious beasts, as just issued by CFZ Director, Jonathan Downes:
For Immediate Release: 2007-10-24
On the 14th November 2007, five members of the Center for Fortean Zoology – the world’s largest organization dedicated to the search for mystery animals – leave the UK for South America, on their most ambitious expedition yet. They will be searching the remote swamps and jungles of Guyana. They are looking for three elusive, potentially lethal, and hitherto undiscovered animals.
The Giant Anaconda
The Water Tiger
As far as we are aware, this is the first cryptozoological expedition in search of evidence for the existence of these three animals that has ever been mounted. After months of complex negotiations, we can also announce that the expedition is sponsored by Capcom – one of the world’s leading video game publishers, who are concurrently launching Monster Hunter Freedom 2, their exciting new game for the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Portable (PSP).
The expedition will take the five members, and their guides, deep into unexplored swamps in the west of Guyana. The area is so remote and poorly known that it doesn’t even have a name.
The anaconda (Eunectes murinus) is the largest known snake in South America. The largest specimen shot was 28ft (9m) long. However, in the past, reports have come in from Guyana of anacondas of mind-boggling proportions, 40-60ft (12-18m) long. In some areas these giants are referred to as ManaTorro (the bull-killer). As recently as last year, a specimen estimated at being 40ft (12m) long was observed by a party of native hunters. The giant snake frightened them so much that they fled. The target area for these monster serpents is a series of remote lakes in the grasslands.
The Didi is a more nebulous beast. It is said to walk upright like a man and be armed with scythe-like claws. It is alleged to tear out the tongues of living cattle, and leave swathes of terror in its wake. Although this last attribute may well be apocryphal, the claws in particular recall the supposedly extinct giant ground sloths or mylodonts. These bear-sized herbivores supposedly died out ten thousand years ago, but reports from across the Amazon, and surrounding areas, suggest they may well still survive.
The Water Tiger is an aggressive aquatic animal said to have pointed teeth and webbed, human like hands. In the past, it was reported to have attacked both people and livestock. The water tiger may be based on reports of the rare giant otter (Pteronura brasiliensis) which can grow to a length of 6ft (1.8m).
The group intend to interview native witnesses to gather information on the animals and search the grasslands and lakes for evidence. They are being guided by Damon Corrie - a chief of the Eagle Clan Arawak tribe – who is also one of the few people to have visited the area in question.
The group consists of:
Dr Chris Clark, engineer
Lisa Dowley, photographer
Richard Freeman, cryptozoologist
Jon Hare, science writer
Paul Rose, journalist
Photographs, a press pack, and further information are available, and expedition members are available for interview. Please contact Jon or Corinna at the CFZ Press Office on 011 44 1237 431413.
NOTES FOR EDITORS:
+ The Center for Fortean Zoology is a non profit-making organisation, which was founded in 1992. Over the last 11 years we have mounted expeditions to Central America, Thailand, Mexico, Mongolia, Sumatra, West Africa, various parts of the United States, as well as numerous investigations in the UK.
+ Further information on the CFZ can be found on their website, www.cfz.org.uk
+ CFZ Press are now the world’s most prolific publishers of books on mystery animals.
+ The honorary life President of the Centre for Fortean Zoology is renowned explorer, author and soldier Colonel John Blashford-Snell OBE, best known for his pioneering Operation Drake and Operation Raleigh expeditions during the 1970s.
+ The CFZ is looking for corporate and private sponsors.
+ The CFZ make their own documentary films which can be seen at http://www.cfztv.org
+ `Lair of the Red Worm`, the 60 minute film of their 2005 expedition to Mongolia has now been seen by 27,000 people.
Jonathan Downes, (Director, CFZ) [Editor, Animals & Men Magazine, Editor, Exotic Pets Magazine], Center for Fortean Zoology [CFZ], Myrtle Cottage, Woolfardisworthy, Bideford, North Devon EX39 5QR, England
Telephone: 011 44 1237 431413