Cougar sighting reported in Highland Park - FOX 32 News Chicago

Cougar sighting reported in Highland Park

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HIGHLAND PARK, Ill. (Sun-Times Media Wire) -

Some north suburban residents are being warned to be on the alert after a possible cougar sighting on Sunday, Pioneer Press is reporting.

A Highland Park resident told police they saw a large, tan, feline-type animal, similar in stature to a cougar, walking in Old Elm Park, in the Highlands north of Half Day Road, on Nov. 25.

Highland Park police investigated after receiving a report Wednesday, but did not locate any tracks or other evidence confirming the identification of the animal.

However, police are telling residents to be alert, especially when outside with children and small pets.

In September, a resident of the 1100 block of Lincoln Avenue South, about two blocks west of Lake Michigan, also reported seeing a possible cougar.

And similar sightings were reported in Glencoe and Winnetka between April and September, but also remain unconfirmed.

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources says there are no sustained populations of cougars in Illinois, but young cats have been known to pass through the Midwest from the Black Hills area of South Dakota.

The animals generally avoid populated areas and may be seeking deer as their primary food source.

Deterrents include bright, flashing white lights, and loud noise.

Residents are urged to use caution if an animal fitting the description is observed to immediately report sightings of suspicious animals to Highland Park police at (847) 432-7730.

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