Cougar Shot, Killed in Chicago

A 150-pound cougar was shot by police on Chicago's North Side on Monday.

Posted: April 16 2008 2 a.m. EDT

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Cougar Shot, Killed in Chicago
A cougar like the one shown here was shot by Chicago police in an alley.
A cougar was shot and killed by police Monday in the Roscoe Village neighborhood on Chicago’s North Side, the Chicago Tribune reports.

Police officers cornered the 150-pound big cat in an alley on the 3400 block of North Hoyne Avenue shortly before 6 p.m., after receiving numerous reports of a cougar roaming the area and leaping over fences.

The decision to shoot the cougar was made after the big cat turned toward officers, Chicago Police Capt. Mike Ryan told the Chicago Tribune. Police could not tranquilize the cougar because they were not armed with tranquilizer guns, Ryan said.

Wildlife experts interviewed by the Chicago Tribune said the use of lethal force was justified. "It's not worth taking any risks," said Clay Nielsen, wildlife ecologist at Southern Illinois University-Carbondale and director of scientific research for the Cougar Network. "Cougar attacks do occur even if they're very, very rare. The bottom line is you never know, and when you have a scared public, sometimes the lethal solution is the best one."

Mayor Richard Daly also supported the actions of the police officers.

According to a spokesperson for the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, cougars are not protected by the state’s wildlife code because they are not considered a normal part of the ecosystem.

It is unclear whether the cougar was an escaped pet or a wild animal. Several people reported seeing a cougar in North Chicago near Wilmette, Ill., in March. A big cat spotted near Milton, Wis., in March also was confirmed to be a wild cougar.

To watch a video report of the incident from Chicago TV station WGN, click here.

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Reader Comments

debby    raleigh, MN

1/19/2012 10:22:00 AM

i agree with the others, if they got a call and knew it was a endangered animal they should of perpared to tranized it instead of kill the pour thing. this is what man has brought the wild animals to by tearing down their home land and habitat. its sad.

Jo    Anaheim, CA

7/15/2010 6:16:56 PM

Why can't police, animal control, etc. BE PREPARED for situations like this especially when they know about this animal being around reidential areas and have these tranquilizers handy so they do not have to shoot them. I think that hard core criminals who murder & child molesters should be shot.

Ave    Mansfield, PA

12/15/2009 8:36:05 PM

Last Tuesday night, our 2 'gentle' male pitbulls were savagely attacked by a cougar in our country yard.They were chained so the cat had advantage,so it thought.One dog was on a short 10 ft chain on the rise in the hill and the other was chained to a 30 ft runner by our shed. The cat pounced the dog on the chain when the other dog on the runner came to the rescue and fought the big cat off. Later we came home and brought them in the house & found their injuries, brought them to the Vet for surgery and both are recovering.Their puncture wounds were 2" deep and the 2nd dog had his face ripped open and front paw nearly severed. 5.5"cat prints didnt convince Game Comissioners who said maybe it was a bear,even though there were only 4 toe marks to each print, whereas a bear has 5~ Environmentally correct coverups for the increasing dangers of cougars near man &pets. This cougar is still on the loose.What or who will he attack next? We are told they arent out east or near cities- This story proves they are whereever they choose to roam. It was right killing it since it would have killed- it is a predator& you cant domesticate a killer like that. Ideally you would capture it and put it in a zoo or relocate it back to the wild- but they have a range of 500 miles and go where they want, so its kill or be killed.

alan    sweetwater, TN

11/28/2009 6:15:00 PM

I am not sure where to begin. I found this site by searching for recent cougar sitings in my area. The article about the cougar in chicago caught my attention, but, what really caught my attention is the reaction to this incident by the people who commented.

Make no mistake about it, I am truly and animal lover. God has blessed this world with many beautiful creatures and I enjoy watching them. However, he also gave us the common sence to protect ourselves when need be. Judging from the comments, I'm not sure the readers realize how much danger the police officers were in. This animal as beautiful as he is,is an exteremly dangerous animal. With this animal you take no chances if it turns on you. and IF he turns on you, he means business.
Lets say the police officers waited on the tranquilzers to get to them, and while waiting the cat excaped and a day or two later killed and innocent child. Those police officers would be hung out to dry and someones child would be gone.
now THATS a tragedy.
But worse yet,(and this scares me the most) I'm not sure if that happened that some of the readers would be more worried about the animal than the human.
People,God granted man dominion over the animals and we must execersize that dominion when neccessary. This doesn't mean kill anything and everything for just any reason, but we must protect our ourselves.
Bottom line. Enjoy the creatures we have on earth, but lets keep it in perspective. They're not human.

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