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Illinois Outdoors

Chicago cougar likely wild

April 16, 2008 at 12:02 PM

The Chicago Sun-Times reports that there is growing belief that the cougar shot Monday in Roscoe Village was a wild animal and not a released captive.

Quoting the Sun-Times:

But based on a necropsy performed Tuesday there doesn’t seem to be any doubt the cougar was a wild animal, not a kept exotic pet that somehow got loose.

Donna Alexander, the administrator of Cook County animal control, said the animal was missing all the hallmarks of a kept animal—his incisors, or gripping teeth, were intact, as were his claws. And there was no microchip inserted in the animal or reports from sanctioned sanctuaries of a missing cougar.

One possible lead came from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, which contacted Cook County officials to tell them they had collected a blood sample from a cougar they were tracking. A DNA comparison and other tests will be performed to try and figure out where the cat migrated from.

Alexander said the cat could have been following the railway paths—as various recent sightings in North Chicago and Wilmette would suggest. She said it’s possible he was chased off his Wisconsin territory by adult males during this spring mating season.

Click here to read the entire Sun-Times story.

The cougar was just under 2 years old, weighed 122 pounds and had a fine coat—good color and no lesions.

What’s more, a big cat expert at the Field Museum—who did not examine the cougar—agreed it was probably wild, based on its elusive behavior. The pristine coat points to a diet of rich deer meat. “He’s looking for territory, looking for a mate,’’ said Bruce Patterson, the Field’s curator of mammals. “Young males do a lot of roaming.”

 

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i heard the last sighting was in Stickney,as of 4/22. Where is the cougar now? I live in Westmont.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 04/23 at 11:33 AM

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