Illinois Outdoors at PrairiestateOutdoors.com
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Jeff Lampe
Jeff Lampe

Jeff Lampe has been outdoor writer at the Journal Star in Peoria for 12 duck seasons. He lives in Elmwood with his wife Monica, sons Henry, Victor and Walter, and Llewellin setter Hawkeye. A native of Buffalo, N.Y., he is an avid fan of the Bills and still has mental scars from four consecutive Super Bowl losses. Outside of hunting and fishing, Lampe's main passion in Illinois was Class A boys basketball (which sadly no longer exists). Former publisher of the Class A Weekly newsletter, Lampe is a co-author of "100 Years of Madness" and "Classical Madness," both books focusing on prep basketball in Illinois.

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Scattershooting

A Web log by Jeff Lampe of the Journal Star

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Someone reported this as a cougar

May 17, 2010 at 11:19 AM

The phones were buzzing at the Journal Star this morning when a female caller reported seeing a dead cougar near the Interstate 474 bridge.

Was it possible? Could we have bears and cougars in the area in the same weekend?

Nope. At least not if the critter pictured above was the same critter that prompted someone to call us. Obviously this is not a cougar. It looks like a wet skunk or maybe a badger. But not a cougar.

Perhaps someone driving past stole the dead cougar. Perhaps a pterodactyl swooped down and snatched up the road-killed cougar to feed its young in a nearby nest. Or maybe Bigfoot grabbed the dead cat on his way back to his Woodford County lair.

Whatever the case, this was the only dead animal in the vicinity according to JS photographer Adam Gerik, who took this picture on the southeast side of the bridge along eastbound I-474. “I nearly killed myself on the I-474 bridge getting this shot in the rain,” he said. “I owe my survival all to an orange vest.”

Is it any wonder folks in the Department of Natural Resources get tired of calls about cougars, bears and wolves? Speaking of which, I need to call furbearer biologist Bob Bluett ASAP to check on the latest Bureau County bear.

 

 

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