Cougar possibly seen in Highland Park
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Updated: October 26, 2012 3:32PM
HIGHLAND PARK — The city of Highland Park is alerting residents to a possible cougar sighting by a resident of the 1100 block of Lincoln Avenue South, about two blocks west of Lake Michigan.
A woman reported seeing a large, tan, feline similar to a cougar in her backyard Friday evening, Sept. 14. Residents are advised to use caution outdoors and to supervise small children and pets.
Highland Park Police investigated but did not locate any tracks or other evidence confirming a cougar’s presence. On Monday, Sept. 17, police followed up but again did not confirm the sighting.
Similar sightings have been reported in Glencoe and Winnetka on April 15, July 26, Aug. 25 and Sept. 3. Those reports also remained unconfirmed early this week.
The Department of Natural Resources advises that there are no sustained populations of cougars in Illinois. However, young cougars have passed through from South Dakota. The animals generally avoid populated areas and may be seeking deer as prey.
Deterrents include bright, flashing white lights, and loud noise. Residents are asked to report any sightings of suspicious animals to the Highland Park Police Department at (847) 432-7730. In case of emergency, dial 911.