Posted by: Loren Coleman on April 30th, 2008
A 124-pound cougar shot by Chicago police earlier this month is the same wild animal that was spotted in southern Wisconsin in January, Cook County officials said today, April 30, 2008.
DNA taken from the cat killed April 15 in Roscoe Village matches genetic material found in Rocky County, Wisconsin, following a cougar sighting there on January 15, 2008, authorities said.
The test results also confirm that the male cat shot in Chicago was a wild, free-roaming cougar, not an escaped exotic pet, officials said.
But more tests are still being done to determine where the big cat originated. The nearest wild population of the predator to Chicago is in South Dakota, experts have said.
“These findings provide a glimpse into the life of this wild cougar and are critical pieces of a larger puzzle, which for us and other agencies is where it came from and how and why it reached an urban area,” Dr. Donna Alexander, Cook County animal control administrator, said in a statement.
The animal — whose exact age is still being determined — measured 5 feet, 4 inches long from his nose to the base of his tail, authorities said.
Chicago Police had been pursuing reports of a cougar on the loose since March 29, 2008. It was shot by police on April 15 after they cornered it near Audubon Elementary School.
The animal was shot seven times, and a necropsy showed it died of shots to the right aorta, right heart base and right ventricle, officials said.
The cat’s remains are being kept at the Field Museum of Chicago for research, officials said.
Source: “DNA shows cougar came from Wisconsin,” by Dan Rozek, Chicago Sun-Times, April 30, 2008.
Once again the blindness to the fact that wild populations of cougars might actually exist in Wisconsin and Illinois versus looking for an origin in South Dakota is revealed in this article.
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading living cryptozoologist. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013. He returned as an infrequent contributor beginning Halloween week of 2015. Coleman is the founder in 2003, and current director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.