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NorthSideSox72

Cougar shot and killed within Chicago city limits

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Not sure if anyone saw this, I'm surprised no one posted it. Chicago Police shot and killed a decent-sized cougar (a.k.a. puma, a.k.a. mountain lion) in Roscoe Village yesterday - a fairly crowded residential neighborhood on Chicago's north side. The story is fascinating - the animal freaked quite a few people out.

 

If you missed it, an article in yesterday's Trib detailed a bunch of reports in Wilmette (north suburb) of a cougar. In March, there were reports of one in North Chicago (a further out northern suburb). And back in January, a farmer in southern Wisconsin had one bound out of a barn and jump over him before running off. They do not yet know if its all the same animal, but they have DNA from the Wisconsin one, so they may find out.

 

Sort of a sad ending - hate to see the animal have to die. But I can also understand how a bunch of Chicago cops, probably with no clue what to do with such an animal, feeling the need to shoot it when it apparently leapt at them. And I am sure that people with children or pets in the area would concur. Still though, hate to see it end this way.

 

The question now is, add this to a cougar that was run over in western Illinois in 2004, and increasing sightings in Wisconsin... are cougars moving that quickly south and east from the Rockies and Canada? Or was this just some moron's escaped "pet" (in which case I hope the owner is prosecuted)?

 

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QUOTE (NorthSideSox72 @ Apr 15, 2008 -> 12:12 PM)
Heh. I put this in PHT. Sorry.

Unless the Sox are playing Kane County some time coming up...I have no idea why this is in Pale hose...

 

ya moved it just as I pushed Reply....hahaha

 

 

Other interesting thing is a vet said it looked like it's been eating very well. Anyone missing pets?? Necropsy should turn up some answers.

Edited by Controlled Chaos

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yea i read that in the suntimes and i was wondering the same thing. that's really weird if a wild cougar just wondered into chicago

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QUOTE (mr_genius @ Apr 15, 2008 -> 12:15 PM)
yea i read that in the suntimes and i was wondering the same thing. that's really weird if a wild cougar just wondered into chicago

 

They just recently spotted a cougar in Wisconsin for the first time in decades. Wolves are also starting to make it over there. I think the populations out west (Yellowstone in particular) are growing and migrating out.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_American_Cougar

Genetic analysis of DNA from a Cougar sighting in Wisconsin in 2008 indicated that a Cougar was in Wisconsin and that it was not captive. It is speculated that the cougar migrated from a native population in the Black Hills of South Dakota; however, the genetic analysis could not affirm that hypothesis. It is also uncertain whether there are other, perhaps breeding, cougars. However, a second sighting was reported and tracks were documented in a nearby Wisconsin community. Unfortunately, a genetic analysis could not be done and a determination could not be made.

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QUOTE (StrangeSox @ Apr 15, 2008 -> 11:38 AM)
They just recently spotted a cougar in Wisconsin for the first time in decades. Wolves are also starting to make it over there. I think the populations out west (Yellowstone in particular) are growing and migrating out.

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_American_Cougar

I'm going to add a bit to this. The Black Hills are not nearly the closest population of cougars to southern Wisconsin. And that 2008 sighting was the first in decades where it was, but not the first in Wisconsin. There is and has been a population of cougars in southern Ontario and nothern Minnesota, and there have been sightings in far NW Wisconsin. I'd think that's most likely where it came from. There is a lot more forest cover between those places, and lot less distance, then there is between Wisconsin and the Black Hills.

 

And wolves are more than starting to make a move - in fact, there have been multiple active packs in WI for at least a decade now. There is even one residing in the Black River Falls area, which is into the southern half of the state. Wolves have been sighted further south than that as well. And those wolves are not from out west either - they are from the north woods.

 

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I'm not certain of the range of a panther (my h.s. mascot) but I suspect these are different animals. I'd even go out on a limb and guess that there is a common breeder somewhere selling exotics.

 

On the wild side, we have some in Texas the closest I came was across a gap at Big Bend. I much prefer to see a bear at 50 yards then a cougar at 800 yards. Those damn cats will stalk, whereas a bear will be big and noisy and easier to scare away.

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QUOTE (sircaffey @ Apr 15, 2008 -> 02:05 PM)
I'll add double chains to the one I've got couped up in my basement.

 

Feed it dog food. That'll stick it to him.

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QUOTE (Texsox @ Apr 15, 2008 -> 01:42 PM)
I'm not certain of the range of a panther (my h.s. mascot) but I suspect these are different animals. I'd even go out on a limb and guess that there is a common breeder somewhere selling exotics.

 

On the wild side, we have some in Texas the closest I came was across a gap at Big Bend. I much prefer to see a bear at 50 yards then a cougar at 800 yards. Those damn cats will stalk, whereas a bear will be big and noisy and easier to scare away.

I had a near-encounter with what was "either a jaguar or an unusually large mountain lion" in the Big Hatchets in New Mexico. That according to the experts I sent the track pics to. Fresh track in the snow that hadn't softened at the edges yet in the NM sun - couldn't have been more than a few minutes that I missed it by. The thing was probably watching me from the brush nearby while I was checking the tracks.

 

For reference, an "unusually large mountain lion" would be about 7 feet long and weigh 250 pounds.

 

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Cougars are coming

 

 

In July of 2000, a cougar was killed by a train in western Randolph County, IL near the Mississippi River and the Shawnee National Forest. A necropsy by Alan Woolf of the Cooperative Wildlife Research Laboratory at Southern Illinois University found a normal, healthy male aged 4 to 6 years belonging to the North American genotype, with normal claws, stomach contents of 100% fawn, and no tattoos. Most captive cougars are declawed and/or have tattoos.

Cougar comeback

Cougar notes

 

 

Irony from the IDNR

 

“While it is not completely impossible for a cougar to be found in Illinois, sighting of a wild one is highly unlikely,” said Acting IDNR Director Sam Flood. “Wild cougars have been found in neighboring states but again, very, very rarely.”

 

 

 

Edited by southsideirish71

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For what it's worth, there are cougars in Iowa. I have family near Iowa City and there was a cougar spotted there 2 years ago.

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Remember that wolf in a 7-11 or something like that downtown?

 

Someone remember so that I don't feel like I'm imagining things... :unsure:

Edited by SleepyWhiteSox

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QUOTE (SleepyWhiteSox @ Apr 15, 2008 -> 01:53 PM)
Remember that wolf in a 7-11 or something like that downtown?

 

Someone remember so that I don't feel like I'm imagining things... :unsure:

That was a coyote. They've been in the area for a while. Different animal.

 

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QUOTE (Athomeboy_2000 @ Apr 15, 2008 -> 01:51 PM)
For what it's worth, there are cougars in Iowa. I have family near Iowa City and there was a cougar spotted there 2 years ago.

They've been in Minnesota for a long time, so that's not outside the realm of possibility. But I'm betting that was aberrant - I doubt there is a significant population in Iowa.

 

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QUOTE (SleepyWhiteSox @ Apr 15, 2008 -> 02:53 PM)
Remember that wolf in a 7-11 or something like that downtown?

 

Someone remember so that I don't feel like I'm imagining things... :unsure:

I remember it. I can't remember if it was a wolf or not. Some kind of large animal though.

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QUOTE (NorthSideSox72 @ Apr 15, 2008 -> 01:33 PM)
I had a near-encounter with what was "either a jaguar or an unusually large mountain lion" in the Big Hatchets in New Mexico. That according to the experts I sent the track pics to. Fresh track in the snow that hadn't softened at the edges yet in the NM sun - couldn't have been more than a few minutes that I missed it by. The thing was probably watching me from the brush nearby while I was checking the tracks.

 

For reference, an "unusually large mountain lion" would be about 7 feet long and weigh 250 pounds.

 

Wow, my hair was standing up on the back of my neck thinking about your encounter. I was going to ask what the prints looked like, I forgot you would know fresh from hours or days old.

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QUOTE (NorthSideSox72 @ Apr 15, 2008 -> 02:57 PM)
They've been in Minnesota for a long time, so that's not outside the realm of possibility. But I'm betting that was aberrant - I doubt there is a significant population in Iowa.

no doubt. just saying they have been seen there. Coyotes are the bigger issue.

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QUOTE (NorthSideSox72 @ Apr 15, 2008 -> 01:33 PM)
I had a near-encounter with what was "either a jaguar or an unusually large mountain lion" in the Big Hatchets in New Mexico. That according to the experts I sent the track pics to. Fresh track in the snow that hadn't softened at the edges yet in the NM sun - couldn't have been more than a few minutes that I missed it by. The thing was probably watching me from the brush nearby while I was checking the tracks.

 

For reference, an "unusually large mountain lion" would be about 7 feet long and weigh 250 pounds.

 

Pfft, that's nothing. When I was 7 or 8 I had a wolf try to eat a donut out of my hand!

 

There's a guy at the end of Farrell road in Lockport who has a couple of wolves, some coyotes, a peacock (those things make some interesting noises) and a 700 lb. bear. He's got all the necessary licenses to do so and was there long before any of the developments/ subdivisions came in. When my parents built their house back in '91/'92, they were one of the first in the area. The guy used to walk his wolves on a leash while on horseback. I was on a walk with my dad and we ran into him. He had the wolves off at a safe distance, but I wandered by them a little too close. If my dad didn't pull me back right away I'm sure it would have taken my donut and maybe part of my hand.

 

Here's an article on his ranch. His house is right next door to a subdivision, and his backyard butts up against it. I'm surprised there's that many people that would want to live that close to those animals.

 

http://www.suburbanchicagonews.com/heraldn...WOLF_S1.article

Edited by StrangeSox

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QUOTE (StrangeSox @ Apr 15, 2008 -> 02:29 PM)
Pfft, that's nothing. When I was 7 or 8 I had a wolf try to eat a donut out of my hand!

 

There's a guy at the end of Farrell road in Lockport who has a couple of wolves, some coyotes, a peacock (those things make some interesting noises) and a 700 lb. bear. He's got all the necessary licenses to do so and was there long before any of the developments/ subdivisions came in. When my parents built their house back in '91/'92, they were one of the first in the area. The guy used to walk his wolves on a leash while on horseback. I was on a walk with my dad and we ran into him. He had the wolves off at a safe distance, but I wandered by them a little too close. If my dad didn't pull me back right away I'm sure it would have taken my donut and maybe part of my hand.

 

Here's an article on his ranch. His house is right next door to a subdivision, and his backyard butts up against it. I'm surprised there's that many people that would want to live that close to those animals.

 

http://www.suburbanchicagonews.com/heraldn...WOLF_S1.article

Ugh. I really dislike it when people keep animals like that as pets.

 

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That's what she gets for hitting on younger men at the bars...

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QUOTE (NorthSideSox72 @ Apr 15, 2008 -> 02:45 PM)
Ugh. I really dislike it when people keep animals like that as pets.

Yeah, same here

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QUOTE (NorthSideSox72 @ Apr 15, 2008 -> 02:57 PM)
That was a coyote. They've been in the area for a while. Different animal.

 

Right you are. They are remarkably similar in appearance, but I put together a quick visual guide for on telling them apart:

 

wolfvscyotecopytd6.jpg

 

The big giveaway is the nose. If the nose is red, you're looking at a wolf. If the nose is black, y'er talking coyote.

 

The different diets aid in positive identification as well. Wolves consume primarily sheep, if they can get past the sheepdog, whereas coyotes are amazingly persistent in trying to pursue and capture roadrunners. Neither species seems to be particularly good at being a predator, and they seem to spend most of their time starving and being thwarted by their would-be dinner.

 

A final difference is in vocalization ability, with the wolf producing short, simple, but fully intelligible vocalizations like, "Mornin', Sam." The coyote, on the other hand, almost never vocalizes, instead opting to hold up signs that say things like, "YIKES!", when they find themselves in an alarming situation.

 

Interestingly, both species do a lot of shopping through the ACME mail order products company. It is not yet known if this is evidence of shared common ancestry or convergent behavioral evolution.

 

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