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Possible Cougar Sighted in Highland Park

Local residents are advised to be alert, especially when outside with small pets, after a large, feline-type animal was spotted last Friday on Lincoln Avenue in Highland Park.

The information below comes from the City of Highland Park.

On Friday evening, September 14, a resident in the 1100 block of Lincoln Avenue South reported seeing a large, tan, feline-type animal similar in stature to a cougar in her backyard.

Highland Park residents are advised to be alert, especially when outside with small pets. Highland Park Police Department personnel immediately investigated the incident but did not locate any tracks or other evidence confirming the identification of the animal.

Read more: Cougar Sightings on the North Shore

On September 17, Police Department personnel conducted a follow-up inspection of the area but did not confirm the identification of the animal. Similar cougar-like sightings have also been reported  in the Village of Glencoe and Village of Winnetka on April 15, July 26, August 25 and September 3, but remain unconfirmed at this time.  

The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) advises that there are no sustained populations of cougars in Illinois; however, young cougars have been known to pass through the Midwest from their original region in the Black Hills of South Dakota. These animals generally avoid populated areas and may be seeking deer as their primary food source. 

Deterrents to these animals include bright, flashing white lights, and loud noise. Residents are encouraged to exercise awareness while outdoors and use caution if an animal fitting the description is observed. Small children and pets should always be supervised when outdoors. Residents are asked to report any sightings of suspicious animals to the Highland Park Police Department at (847) 432-7730.  In the case of an emergency, please dial 911.

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