The Illinois Department of Natural Resources says a cougar roaming West Central Illinois continues to roam near Springfield’s west end.
IDNR detected a mountain lion on the west side of Springfield yesterday after monitoring the animal through telemetry from a GPS unit attached to it by the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission last year as part of a research project studying mountain lions’ migration patterns. The animal was detected in a wooded area less than an eighth of a mile from Old Jacksonville Road in Springfield. IDNR had hoped the animal would move along overnight Wednesday, but it has not according to witnesses in the area and a report by the State Journal Register.
IDNR officials warn the public to leave it alone, as it has not yet posed a threat to anyone or any property. However, if you do come into contact with the animal, IDNR suggests to stand tall, wave your arms, throw an object and yell while also slowly backing up and keeping one eye on the animal. Do not play dead. Always attempt to fight the animal off.
If you believe that you, your family, or your property appear to be in imminent danger from this animal, immediately call 9-1-1 or call IDNR Conservation Police 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.