DEKALB COUNTY, Unwell. (TOC) — Mountain lions, or cougars, are uncommon in Illinois. Illinois Division of Pure Assets say solely eight of the solitary predators have been present in Illinois within the final 20 years. That features the one which was struck and killed by a automobile on I-88 in DeKalb County on Sunday.
“We consider it was a person that was reported to us out of Whiteside County that was captured on a path digital camera on personal property,” stated Nate Grinder, wildlife biologist with the IDNR.
Grinder stated a necropsy and DNA tracing are being finished now, and the mountain lion doubtless got here from a inhabitants out west.
“At this level, we’re simply getting these younger male indiivudals dispersing throughout the panorama searching for others, and so they aren’t discovering any as a result of they aren’t right here. It is form of a deadly journey for them,” Grinder stated.
Mountain lions have been eradicated from Illinois previous to the 1870s on account of habitat loss and overharvest, in line with IDNR. Though extraordinarily uncommon in Illinois, mountain lion sightings have been confirmed in Illinois throughout the previous few a long time.
In 2008, a 150-pound mountain lion was shot and killed by police in an alley within the Roscoe Village neighborhood on Chicago’s North Aspect. That animal was traced by DNA to a inhabitants within the Black Hills of South Dakota.
INDR stated the company is at present monitoring a mountain lion from Nebraska with a GPS monitor in Illinois. Grinder stated it is unlikely it will need any contact with people, however in case you encounter a mountain lion you must get huge and again away.
“Stand tall, look giant, maintain your eye on the animal and slowly again away, preserving your eye on the animal,” Grinder suggested. “Do not run away, do not try to intimidate the animal. They actually don’t need something to do with individuals.”
IDNR officers are reminding the general public that it’s illegal to hunt, kill, or harass mountain lions until they pose an imminent menace to an individual or property.
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