Cougar sighting in Western Illinois

Cougar photo
Cougar photo(MGN)
Published: Oct. 26, 2022 at 9:42 PM CDT
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QUINCY (WGEM) - A cougar made its way through the Tri-States, according to Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

The IDNR is currently monitoring a cougar reported in western Illinois in early October 2022.

The cougar has a GPS collar that was originally attached in November 2021 by the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission (NGPC) as part of an ongoing research project on their mountain lion population, including movement patterns.

The NGPC has been coordinating with state agencies on GPS location data as the animal recently made an eastward journey across Iowa and into Illinois.

IDNR will continue to coordinate with NGPC and other agency partners on this animal while it is in Illinois.

If you have recently seen a cougar in Illinois, you should report the sighting to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

Path of the cougar

Path of cougar through the Tri-States
Path of cougar through the Tri-States(WGEM)

What to do if you see a cougar

According to the IDNR website, if you see a cougar, do not run. Do not surprise the cougar. Make noise to ensure that the cougar is aware of your presence. A cougar is not likely to attack a person unless it feels trapped, provoked or if you appear to be prey. If you are in a group, gather everyone together, if possible, and move as a group.

The IDNR website also says to respect the cougar’s space, and do not approach the animal. If the cougar sees you, stand your ground. Look as large as possible by standing up straight and putting your arms up in the air and slowly back away. If possible, go inside a building or get into a vehicle. If a cougar makes contact with you, always try to fight it off. Throw rocks, use sticks. Do not play dead.

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