Distributor for Mystery Animals of Suffolk

Bittern Books, NorwichThe book Mystery Animals of Suffolk now has a distributor.

Bittern Books of Norwich will be getting the book into bookshops, museum gift shops and other outlets across East Anglia, including East Anglian branches of Waterstones, as well as getting it listed on Amazon shortly and available via their website.

Meanwhile, contact me on mysteryanimalsofsuffolk@gn.apc.org if you would like to buy a copy. The book’s already on sale at Dunwich Museum, Aldeburgh Bookshop, The Halesworth Bookshop and The Chocolate Box, Bungay.


Interview on BBC Radio Suffolk

There was an interview with Matt Salusbury, author of the book Mystery Animals of Suffolk on BBC Radio Suffolk’s “Steph Mack sits on the Johnnie Wright show” on 23 August.

The interview starts around 25.25 (25 minutes, 25 seconds in.) Link available ‘till 21 Sept, UK only. (The answer to “guess the village” immediately before I’m on is Kirton.) 

The link to the interview is on BBC Sounds, you may have to register (for free in the UK) and log in. For copyright reasons, the link is available until 21 September only, in the UK only. The link is here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/p0g43bx5

Report of a sighting of a lynx in Kirton, Suffolk (East Anglian Daily Times, 27 August)

The East Anglian Daily Times reported on 27 August 2023 that a lynx had been spotted in a garden in the village of Kirton, on Suffolk’s Felixstowe peninsular, by a house hunter from London looking to buy a property there. Some locals interviewed by EADT were spectical. The article is here.

The British Big Cat Research Facebook group reported traffic on a local Facebook community noticeboards about a muntjac deer found dead with “puncture marks” around six weeks earlier.

Mystery Animals of Suffolk published 14 August

The book Mystery Animals of Suffolk – including an account of 150 mystery big cat sightings is published on 14 August 2023.

The author is interviewed live on BBC Radio Suffolk by Steph Mackentyre on Wednesday 23 August at around 14.20.

There’s a press release with details of the book here.

Mystery Animals of Suffolk is already on sale at:

Aldeburgh Bookshop

The Halesworth Bookshop

The Chocolate Box, Bungay

Dunwich Museum

It will be available to buy via this website shortly afterwards.

Review copies are going out to media outlets.

A book launch at a venue in Ipswich is expected in the autumn. Watch this space for developments – email mysteryanimalsofsuffolk@gn.apc.org to get on the mailing list, or fill in the “subscribe” form below:

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FOIA disclosures: data on big cats obtained via the Freedom of Information Act

Big cat investigators can gather much information on British big cats in Britain through the Freedom of Information Act, (FOIA, pronounced “foyer”,) which obliges public bodies and government agencies including local authorities to disclose information requested by citizens. Making FOIA requests is certainly easier than getting down on your hands and knees looking for big cat field signs in the wilderness and trying to scoop possible big cat poo into a bag for DNA analysis!

The preamble to the Freedom of Information Act 2000
Image © Matt Salusbury; text, design, typography and layout Crown Copyright

Some of the bodies that hold useful data on big cats include police forces – their police logs document calls from the public reporting big cat sightings to them – local authorities – they enforce Dangerous Wild Animals Act licences needed by people who keep big cats in captivity – and nature management agencies such as the Forestry Commission, English Nature and the Norfolk and Suffolk Broads Authority.

I have been making FOIA requests about big cats in Suffolk (and East Anglia)  for the past six years. Relevant disclosures under FOIA will be published here. (In some cases, even though the information is “free”, it remains Crown copyright of the body that has it, which takes time to clear.)

For now, the link below will take you to a recent FOIA disclosure on a male bobcat that escaped from captivity in West Suffolk in March 2020. This bobcat was then shot and injured, then rescued by the RSPCA and rehomed. The disclosure reveals that someone in West Suffolk was at the time keeping half a dozen big cats which were all transferred to the ownership of another individual or organisation at around that time:

If you are interested in collaborating with me on making more FOIA requests in this area, or on possible training sessions on FOIA requests for big cat investigators, please get in touch.


West Suffolk bobcat escaped while being transferred to a zoo, FIOA disclosure reveals

Big cat investigators spend a lot of time out in the wild with trail cameras and the like, but we can get a fairly good idea of what’s happening by way of British big cat activity via Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, to the police and to local councils, for example. This FOIA disclosure involves a escaped male bobcat shot and injured in Suffolk, after he was apparently rescued by the RSPCA who passed him on to a rescue centre where he was rehomed.

FOIA disclosures in response to my requests have uncovered the circumstances of the escape. They also hint at a former owner of multiple big cats somewhere in West Suffolk transferring a large number of “Dangerous Wild Animals” out of their ownership in the course of 2020.