Chicago Suburbs Being Hit By Cougar Sightings

Posted by: Loren Coleman on September 18th, 2012

The Chicago, Illinois, area is having a series of cougar (panther, mountain lion, puma, etc.) sightings these days.

North Shore residents are the eyewitnesses.

The latest encounters took place on during this last week.

“What we need are pictures,” Northfield Police spokeswoman Loren Boyes said today, September 18, 2012.

Friday evening, a resident of the 1100 block of Highland Park’s Lincoln Avenue reported seeing a large, tan, catlike animal in her backyard, but police could find no tracks or other evidence that it was there.

Around 6 a.m. two days before that, a Wilmette resident walking near the Illinois Department of Transportation yards at 2 Happ Road, Northfield, reported seeing something similar in a patch of tall grass. No prints could be found there, and much of the surrounding territory is gravel and cement. The incident wasn’t reported for almost nine hours.

That was the second Northfield sighting. The first was June 6, when a big cat was reported running down Rolling Ridge Road toward Sunset Ridge Road.

The two most recent sightings were almost nine miles apart, which is not an enormous distance, considering a cat would have had two days to traverse it. Nine miles can’t be a huge deal for an animal suspected to have migrated from South Dakota.

Suspected sightings go back at least to April 15, when a resident atop a Glencoe bluff reported seeing a cougar on Glencoe Beach. A paid-on-call firefighter reported seeing a cougar on Glencoe’s Dell Place beach July 26, and there have been two other reports from the Skokie Lagoons, west of Glencoe.

Aug. 24, a maid reported seeing a cougar ensconced in a tree on the 200 block of Glencoe’s Lincoln Avenue.

Another was reported trotting Sept. 3 down the 1300 block of Willow Road near the Winnetka Public Works headquarters.

Glencoe Police have set up motion-sensitive cameras along the beach to try to snap a photo, and sent evidence technicians to look for prints. One made a casting, but it looked more like a deer print than evidence of a mountain lion’s passing, village Animal Control Officer Katie Sweeney said.

The possibility that one or more cougars is at large on the North Shore is not so far-fetched. Disbelief about similar sightings in 2008 abounded until a Chicago Police officer dispelled them with a gunshot. Source

Loren Coleman About Loren Coleman
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.

4 Responses to “Chicago Suburbs Being Hit By Cougar Sightings”

  1. Larry responds:


    This has been going on for a month or so. It is almost literally in my back yard. I bike through these locations quite often. The IDOT yard abuts a green belt that contains a well-trafficked bike and running path. The North Branch of the Chicago River runs through the forest preserve. At dusk, it is very common to see many deer in the area, though I have never seen a carcass.

    A second local article about this can be read here.

    Winnetka, the suburb in this report, is due west of the Northfield and south of the Highland Park reports.

    Recall that in 2008, a cougar was shot and killed in the city by Chicago police. While it is unclear that there is any connection, if these sightings turn out to be of a large predator cat, it seems that I may need to rethink my use of the bike paths.

  2. DWA responds:

    Whoa. The COPS are setting up motion cameras!

    More like it. (Although, OK, when it’s the cops, funding priorities do come into play. But this could be, after all, a public safety issue.)

    Disbelief in the reports of people whose daily lives indicate, well, that they aren’t routinely driving their cars into walls by mistake is not warranted.

    An open mind? That is.

  3. Kenneth Joholske via Facebook responds:

    I was in Chicago several years ago and there was a cougar sighting outside the city

  4. Goodfoot responds:

    Larry: I would SERIOUSLY err on the side of caution and stay away from those bike paths!!!

Sorry. Comments have been closed.

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