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Two more cougar sightings confirmed in southernmost Illinois
June 28 2017 at 07:17 PM
The State Journal-Register
Two more cougar sightings have been confirmed in Pulaski and Alexander counties, bringing the total to four confirmed sightings in Illinois in the past two months.
No one can say for sure if the sightings are of the same cat or more than one.
Illinois Department of Natural Resources wildlife biologist Tim Krumwiede verified the authenticity of the most recent trail camera photos, which were taken june 18 in Pulaski County and june 26 in Alexander County. Both counties border the Mississippi River in southern Illinois.
Krumwiede met with both landowners, looked at the photos on the cameras’ memory cards and in pulaski County verified the site where the photo was taken.
“I’d bet everything I own on their authenticity,” he said. “They were two good photos — no-doubters.”
The four sightings this fall more than double the previous three verified cougar sightings in Illinois since the 1870s.
Cougars, also known as mountain lions, panthers, catamounts, painters and pumas, once ranged across most of the lower 48 states, but were driven out of Illinois more than a century ago.
“We pulled all four cards and went back to the camper Friday night (to review them) and that one popped up,” he said. “We were looking at (the picture) in our camper and I said, ‘Surely, I’m not seeing things, but sure looks like it’s a mountain lion.” Stories have circulated in the area about cougars.
“The neighbor said he’s seen a black panther in our creek bottom,” he said. “I kind of blew it off because I thought it was just another story.”
Krumwiede said the cougar image was taken near an entrance road where the landowner was having trouble with vandalism. the photo was taken just off Mudline road.
“He may have found a home from many, many years ago,” Krumwiede said.
The images all were captured at night, long after hunters should be out of the woods, but Krumwiede said DNR wants to hear from hunters who think they’ve seen cougars.
Attacks by cougars are rare. About 25 people have been killed by cougars in the United States over the past century, according to the Missouri Department of Conservation.
Missouri has more experience with cougars, having documented 35 sightings since 1994. An article, “Living with Large Carnivores,” is available on the Missouri agency’s website.
According to the article, anyone who encounters a cougar is advised to maintain eye contact, raise arms to look bigger and back away slowly. Pick up dogs and children so they are not tempted to run.
Cougars that roam long distances are likely to be young males looking for mates.
Chris Young can be reached at (217) 788-1528.
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Hunted JEPC this weekend, by creek and have pics of paw print. Brought them home and compared to K9 vs cougar. Look like cougar, also I dont know many dogs with prints bigger than my fist
Posted by ctadams on 11/17 at 08:31 PM
Labs have big feet as well a Danes. Is there any claw marks. Cats dont have their claws out. Cat tracks are round while canine are more diamond shaped. Draw an X between toes 1&2 then 3&4. If the X hits the pad its cat. Type in cougar tracks in google search.
Posted by Wildsurvivor on 11/18 at 06:25 PM
Fact of the matter is Pike County has a cougar problem. I moved here two years ago from Minnesota and have personally had five sightings myself from the dodging outside of sight in a creek bed in Barry or crossing the road in El Dara. I have also seen trail cam pictures of my fiancé and a friend of his helping a guide by setting up stands and as the trail cam in the area went off you can see two faces and yellow eyes mostly hidden in the brush not ten feet behind them.
I don’t particularly think they’re a menace to the area; but I do think we need to acknowledge that there is a small population of them in the area.
Posted by Schmitty1990 on 11/20 at 09:15 AM
I just saw a trail cam photo of a cougar just outside of Lewistown here in Fulton Co. Not a doubt about the picture or the person providing the picture.
Posted by E Nigma on 11/21 at 12:56 PM
Cougar sighting, how can I add a picture?
Posted by Itsme on 12/28 at 07:56 PM
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