There are no known cougar populations in Illinois.
While the IDNR does investigate several alleged cougar sightings each year, most if not all turn out to be a case of mistaken identity. The animals most often mistaken for cougars are coyotes, bobcats, or large domestic dogs or cats.
Actual cougar sightings in Illinois are few and far between. The last cougar found in Illinois was in April of 2009 in the Chicago neighborhood of Roscoe Village. The cougar was killed by police officers and widely believed to have come from outside the state. Perviously, the last sighting had was in December of 2004 in Mercer County. It was found already dead, apparently shot with an arrow.
Another cougar was found dead after it was hit by a train in Randolph County in July of 2000. Prior to 2000, the last verified record of a cougar in Illinois was from Alexander County in 1862.
There are currently no cougar-related advocacy activities in this state.
To read a 2008 Press Release from the Illinois DNR concerning reported cougar sightings, click here
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Trail camera snaps cougar in central Illinois
St. Louis Post-Dispatch | 2012-10-30This is only the fourth confirmed sighting of a cougar since the cats were driven from Illinois in the 1870s.
Debating mountain lion reports in the area
Morris Daily Herald | 2010-09-30Our local area has been circulating one topic recently that has been at the forefront of many conversations on the outdoors. In the last eighteen months I have been bombarded by people asking me questions about one creature more than any other. The item that has been so prevalent on people’s minds is the possibility of a mountain lion living here in Grundy County.
Crane naval center issues mountain lion warning
Chicago Tribune | 2010-09-28The Crane Naval Surface Warfare Center in southwestern Indiana has warned workers to watch out for a suspected mountain lion that has been spotted in the area.
A Plank Road Panther?
Courier News - IL | 2010-04-05Could as many as 16 witnesses in the Elgin-Pingree Grove area be mistaken when they claim to have seen the mysterious big cat we have named the Plank Road Panther?
More than 1 year after cougar shot in Chicago, remains stored at Field Museum
Associated Press | 2009-05-26The remains of a 150-pound cougar shot and killed more than a year ago on Chicago's North Side are being stored at the Field Museum.
Cops kill cougar on North Side
Jeremy Manier and Tina Shah | 2009-03-31Neighborhood stunned as animal cornered, shot in back alley
There are no cougar-related downloads for this state.
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