Saturday, February 4th, 2023
Saturday, February 4th, 2023

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DNR biologists to examine cougar found in Whiteside County

Ralph LoosSpringfield – Wildlife biologists will examine the remains of a cougar found on a farm near Morrison in rural Whiteside County in an effort to learn more about the animal’s recent history and origin, DNR announced today.

On Wednesday, a CPO responded to a call from a Whiteside County farm owner that a large cat had been seen exiting a corn field, running toward the farm owner’s home and outbuildings. When the CPO arrived at the farm, he made contact with the farm owner’s wife, who was in the house, and checked a horse barn and lot where the landowner’s horses were located. The cougar was discovered in a concrete tunnel beneath a corn crib.

After consulting with the farm owner’s wife and DNR law enforcement and wildlife personnel, and at the farm owner’s request, it was determined that the cougar should be euthanized. The CPO dispatched the animal with his DNR-issued rifle. The cougar appeared to weigh more than 100 pounds and was 5-and-half to 6-feet in length. Wildlife biologists will take possession of the animal and conduct a necropsy.

Recently, images taken by trail cameras in Jo Daviess County (September 2012) and in Morgan, Pike and Calhoun counties (October and November 2012) were confirmed by IDNR as showing a live cougar. Given the long distances typically traveled by cougars, and the proximity of the counties (especially Calhoun, Morgan and Pike), it is possible that the camera images may show the same animal.

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