Chicago Police Department Defends Cougar Shooting

The city's animal control takes over the investigation regarding the big cat.

Posted: April 19 2008 2 a.m. EDT

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The shooting death of a male cougar on April 14 by a police officer in a Chicago back alley eliminated a danger to the community, according to the Chicago Police Department. According to an officer in the department's news division, the loose animal attempted to lunge at an officer.

The officer added that the police department turned the case over to the city’s animal control services for investigation. Further tests are needed to determine the cougar’s origins — whether it was a pet or a wild cat.

Department Superintendent Jody P. Weis issued a written statement in response to the shooting that said the police officer’s actions removed the threat of a cougar one block from the Audubon Grammar School. After numerous calls from residents and the school regarding sightings of a cougar in the area, police spotted the cougar running between homes and “finally charging toward the police officer.”

Weis further stated, “The police officer exercised sound judgment in eliminating a dangerous threat to a community and to small children in making a split-second decision to discharge his weapon after the cougar charged at the officer. There’s no doubt that lives were saved as a result of his actions and his fellow officers’ attempts to contain the animal away from innocent bystanders.”

Additional wild cougar sightings have been reported since the first big cat was killed. The department’s news division did not comment on the validity of those reported sightings.

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Chicago Police Department Defends Cougar Shooting

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Reader Comments

Samantha    Frederick, MD

8/19/2008 12:39:44 PM

Do they always need violence? Just tranqualize it and relocate! These cats still have a right to live. I know it could endanger people, but cant they do something else rather than kill?!

Cheryl    Cottonwood, AZ

4/21/2008 10:38:57 AM

It was definately wrong for them to shoot the cougar. They could have just shot him with those darts that put them to sleep or have animal control cage him and place him back in the wild. They do this for alligators all the time in Florida. They do it for rattlesnakes out here all the time, and they do far more damage.

Nikki    Chicago, IL

4/20/2008 10:11:02 AM

It's still so sad ...

Allie    Nashvile, TN

4/20/2008 10:10:17 AM

i think they shouldnt of shot the cougar, if i was the police officer, i would of called the animal control and or animal planet rescue and place him in the wild, where he belongs

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