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North Shore Cougar Sightings 2012

A timeline of possible cougar sightings that began in Glencoe and occurred as recently as Labor Day in Winnetka.

began on the morning of April 15 on the bluff below the Hazel Ave. overlook in Glencoe. The next reported sighting occured on the evening of July 26 when a Glencoe Public Safety employee witnessed a large cat cross the street at Dell & Lakeside and walk down towards the lake. The employee described the cat as resembling a cougar.

Alain Leval.

Leval saw nothing but heard noises in Highland Park’s Sleepy Hollow Park that caused him to reverse tracks while walking his dog. “We heard a roar from the woods,” he said. “It was a sound you hear in the zoo. We walked back the other way.”

Glencoe’s Animal Control Specialist Katie Sweeney said which was taken down after two weeks because it only captured photos of wildlife native to the village. Animal Control still has found no evidence to prove an animal of that magnitude was ever at the scene.

And yet, when a resident informed police of a possible cougar along the 1300 block of Willow Rd. at approximately 8:30 p.m.

“Although unconfirmed, the detailed description provided of the animal has warranted additional investigation," the police announced in a statement. 

The Winnetka Police Department is joining forces with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and an experienced wildlife expert to determine whether the cat may have actually set foot in the area.

In the meantime, Sweeny recommends area residents stay smart about day-to-day activities. This means keeping dogs on leashes, cats indoors and garbage in tight receptacles.

If you find yourself face-to-face with a cougar, remember not to run.

“You pretty typically want to do the same thing you’d do if confronted by a coyote,” Sweeny said. “You want to wave your arms and scare them off. You don’t want to run because that chase instinct will kick in. And if you find yourself being attacked, definitely fight back.”

Residents are encouraged to use caution and asked to report sightings of suspicious animals immediately. As a cougar’s main prey, deer carcasses should also be reported to the Glencoe Public Safety Department. Contact Glencoe Community Service Officer Katie Sweeney at (847) 835-4112 for additional information.

Megg Abel September 07, 2012 at 05:52 PM
I am not sure of what I saw the other day in Vernon Hills, but it was very fast, bigger than a house cat and I don't think a dog would be roaming around Gregs Landing without a leash. I thought it was a coyote.
Ann Limoges September 07, 2012 at 08:56 PM
Cougars are basically the same animal as the mountain lions who live in Caifornia. The advice given above is good, especially the "dont run" part, with the exception of the "fight back" part. Without a weapon a human being is no match for a cougar/mountain lion. Also, if they attack, they will probably surprise you from behind by jumping on your back and biting through your spinal cord. No dog can win in a confrontation with one of them either. One mountain lion in southern California killed a German Shepherd on its owner's front porch. The motivation for attacking is to eat their prey. They love deer, so they hang out where there are deer. If you find a mostly intact deer carcass you can tell if it was killed by a cougar. The first part of the deer which will be eaten is the mid-section (below the rib cage). Cougars tend to hunt more at night than during the day, so the most likely time to see them would be in the early morning or early evening. --Former Californian
TBFB September 08, 2012 at 02:05 AM
scary. i like the ones that hang out at miramar better.
Joe September 08, 2012 at 04:01 PM
If confronted by a cougar. By her a drink
Gail Norkus December 06, 2012 at 03:34 AM
Gail Hopefully this beautiful creature wont be shot to death like the cowards in the city of Chicago did to winters ago when they cornered the cougar " THAT WAS BOTHERING NO ONE"!

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