Information Regarding Cougar/Mountain Lion Sightings (January 2016)

Information Regarding Cougar/Mountain Lion Sightings (January 2016)
As you may have seen in the news (01/07/16), Highland Park recently reported sightings of a cougar/mountain lion in the general area. While the sighting has remained unconfirmed through photographic or physical evidence at this moment, they have caused an increase in local media attention and citizen interest and concern.

The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) advises that there are no sustained populations of cougars in Illinois; however young cougars have been known to pass through the Midwest from their original region in the Black Hills of South Dakota. Cougars generally avoid populated areas and their primary food source is deer. According to Illinois SB3049 which took effect January 1, 2015, the Illinois Wildlife Code was amended to add black bears, mountain lions, and gray wolves to the list of protected species in Illinois.  To comply with the Illinois Wildlife Code, the IDNR recommends a “surveillance” approach which includes community alerts and education efforts. Unless a situation involving a big cat warrants the defense of citizens or police officers, euthanizing big cats solely because of their presence is prohibited.

Some additional resources for you can be found here: 

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