At least two sightings of cougars in Glencoe
A cougar photographed in the western United States. AFP PHOTO/US FISH & WILDLIFE SERVICES
Updated: September 18, 2012 3:12PM
GLENCOE - See a cougar rambling around town? Wave your arms and yell at him, then tell Katie Sweeney.
She’s the Glencoe animal control officer, and she’s now fielded two sightings of possible mountain lions in town.
“This is a whole new kind of thing for me,” she said Friday. “I find this absolutely fascinating.”
She said that the possible July 26 sighting of a mountain lion by a paid-on-call Glencoe firefighter on the Dell Place beach was preceded by another April 15, when a resident on the bluff above the Glencoe Beach saw what looked like a sleeping somewhat-big cat. It got up and sauntered off.
She’s also heard about a couple of “unsubstantiated sightings in the Skokie Lagoons.”
Not to worry too much, she added. If they’re here, they’re here for the deer, not you.
It’ll probably take off if you get close, just as coyotes do.
“They’re coming from South Dakota Black Hills, and they’re not used to seeing a giant population of human beings,” she said.
She’s seen what looks like trails through the brush near Dell, and some “crawl-unders” at fence lines. Nothing more. She’s set up a motion-sensitive camera near one of the trails to see if she can get a picture.
Meanwhile, don’t encourage a visit.
“A lot of precautions that you take with a cougar are the same as with a coyote,” she said. “Cats indoors, dogs on leashes, don’t leave any pet food outside.”
But don’t worry about the beach. “Go ahead and use ‘em, there’ve been no reported attacks on humans in this area.
“Residents are our eyes; they’re here 24/7. Any information they can forward my way is always appreciated,” she said.
“We can collect data to have on hand, kind of doing the homework for the professionals who would come if we have a problem. Call and tell us anything (at 847-835-4112) no matter how small it might be.”
Mainly, she just likes the idea of hearing more and more about the possible visitor.
“It’s a new animal in the Midwest, relatively speaking. When it comes, it’s at the top of the food chain.
“It’s a whole new kind of thing,” she said.