Tuesday, January 31st, 2023
Tuesday, January 31st, 2023

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Cougars

Finally, something official from DNR about cougars – albeit a
denial.

Director Sam Flood and the agency issued a statement Wednesday
(Feb. 6) involving “recent internet rumors claiming photographic
evidence of cougars in Illinois.”

“These photos are being falsely identified as being taken in
Illinois – in many cases claiming to be taken near Findlay in
Shelby County. The photos are real, but appear to have been taken
in 2001 or 2002 in Lander, Wyoming where cougars are common,” DNR
said in a written statement.

Apparently, the internet rumors have been floating around
Illinois via mass e-mails – you know, those e-mails you get from
your buddies all day long while you’re working your brain at your
desk.

DNR said the e-mails that contain photos of cougars in Illinois
tend to misidentify the correct location.

“While it is not completely impossible for a cougar to be found
in Illinois, sighting of a wild one is highly unlikely,” Flood
said. “Wild cougars have been found in neighboring states but
again, very, very rarely.”

Flood also addressed rumors sometimes mentioned in these hoax
emails that the IDNR is releasing these animals into the Illinois
ecosystem.

“It is absolutely not true that the Illinois Department of
Natural Resources is releasing cougars anywhere in the state for
any reason,” Flood said.

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