The Illinois Department of Natural Resources is continuing to monitor the movement of a cougar through the area.
On Monday, IDNR had confirmed sightings of the animal moving into Cass County. Today, IDNR Conservation Police Captain John Williamson says that telemetry from a tracking monitor on the animal had placed it on the west side of Springfield. According to witnesses, the cougar was last seen in the area of Veterans Parkway and Old Jacksonville Road.
IDNR says that the telemetry unit’s coordinates placed by the Nebraska Conservation Office on the animal has allowed them to monitor the animal’s movements without interference. Williamson says that he hopes the animal will decide to go around the City of Springfield rather than attempt to cut through the city.
IDNR says that cougars/mountain lions routinely travel at night. Officials say not to approach the animal. f 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.
If you have any information or trail cam footage of the cougar, you can contact IDNR Conservation Police Captain John Williamson directly at 217-493-3073 or you can report a sighting using this link. More information about Cougar/Mountain Lions and sightings in Illinois can be found by visiting Wildlife Illinois.