Cougar Confirmed Near Warren, Illinois

A cougar was caught on a trail camera and confirmed by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources near Warren, IL. It was also spotted in nearby towns of Stockton, Apple River and Scales Mound.

The IL DNR reported: "We have reviewed a cougar image taken from a trail camera near Warren.  Everything checked out as legitimate, so it would seem that there is (or was at that time) a cougar in the area.  Cougar reports have been increasing in the midwest, particularly west of the Mississippi River.  Mostly, they seem to be young animals, mostly males, who tend to wander around the countryside, presumably looking for mates and to establish a territory.  There has not been any verification of breeding cougars in Illinois to date. 

Regarding the legality of shooting a cougar.  Cougars are not recognized as officially existing in Illinois and as such cougars do not have protected status.  A person could legally shoot a cougar.  We ask that you report the harvest.  IDNR would like to submit the carcass for testing, but will return the carcass to you." Below is the trail cam photo.