Cougar shot on farm near Morrison, Illinois

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Cougar shot in Whiteside County (Photo from Illinois DNR).jpg

Cougar shot in Whiteside County (Photo from Illinois DNR).jpg

Cougar shot in Whiteside County (Photo from Illinois DNR).jpg

An Illinois conservation officer shot and killed a cougar that weighed more than 100 pounds on a farm near Morrison, Illinois.

Farm owners reported seeing a large cat running from a corn field toward their home and outbuildings Wednesday, November 20, 2013.

An Illinois Department of Natural Resources Conservation Police Officer found a cougar in a concrete tunnel beneath a corn crib.

“After consulting with the farm owner’s wife and IDNR law enforcement and wildlife personnel, and at the farm owner’s request, it was determined that the cougar should be euthanized,” said a spokesman for the Illinois DNR.  The animal appeared to weigh more than 100 pounds and was between 5-1/2 and six feet long.

The officer used his service rifle to shoot and killed the cougar.

The DNR says cougars, also known as mountain lions, are not protected by Illinois Wildlife Code.  Cougars found in Illinois are thought to be transient and no resident cougar population is believed to exist in the state.


Iowa DNR confirms mountain lion sighting

Photos: Mountain lion shot by Des Moines Police





  • carshon engelbarts

    Agreed – we are all too happy to just shoot an animal and make a trophy out of it. Don’t care if it was the DNR that shot and killed it. If it was just transient let it move on! Just so sick of this state we live in.

  • blah blah

    I think the right thing was done. ” Let it move on “? Really?! So it could terrorize/ hurt someone?! I’m all for animals but they belong where they’re supposed to be!

    • Stephanie

      your comment has shown just how ignorant so many people are when it comes to wild animals….the first thing that is always done is to kill the animal…that’s just should of been tranquilized and relocated…anyone with brains would know that

  • Kat94

    Spoken by people who have not encountered them outside of zoos. My kids were stalked by one while riding their bicycles down our country road. I say kill them all.

  • shonda

    If the animal is clearly posing a threat & the only option is to kill it than by all means do so. But otherwise let them b. Figure out some other option.Humans stalk & kill people we r not allowed to just shoot them.Yes if one of these animals clearly posed a threat & i had no other option but to kill it i would. But not if i didnt have to.

  • carrie

    Really, they shouldn’t be where they are…they are wild animals…they were here before you were!! They can be relocated not killed!

  • Eric

    My Childern spend the day within site of this farm I would like to thank the IDNR for removing a dangerous predator from our area . It sure seems easy to cast the first stone when it is not your back yard or your community

    • Adriane Ebner

      So dangerous??? Biologists said this animal was looking for shelter and not acting in a threatening manner. IDNR should be trained to use a tranquilizer gun. These animals were here before us. I am a mother and I have a small dog but I also respect nature and I’m not a coward who screams “Shoot it, its a threat” at a beautiful wild cat looking for shelter. Humans are ignorant animals!

  • Andy

    This story sounds like what they said about bobcats 10 years ago and they are now established in Illinois. I live in Illinois and people are seeing them everywhere. That cougar would not think twice about killing your child if they walked by. So you say not to kill the cougar? What if a pit bull was running wild and came to your house? Let me guess, you are also a pit bull advocate and an anti hunting vegetarian? You are right, they should have tranquilized it and put it in your backyard where it could have run free and had a happy ever after. I love how everyone has to have an opinion about everyone else but everyone else’s opinions or decisions are wrong if they don’t agree with you. They made a choice, go worry about the stuff you do that pisses other people off and quit thinking your always right.

  • John Axe

    What a shame, news said the cougar was in a concrete tube. Wasnt harming anyone. Idnr should have waited. try a tranquilizer first . Or other means…Try shooting a tranquilizer from the truck,if a chance of danger.. Really like how they displayed it on the truck bed, like big game hunters, (cougar hiding real brave) …..a outside agency should investigate .instead of idnr spokeman on the news

  • Kristen Waller

    The Idnr although they wont’ admit it let a bunch in several yrs ago to control the deer population that’s what i heard and believe me when you are by yourself quite a ways from a hunting party and you see cat tracks no i mean big kitty tracks it scares ya….. So what if they killed one I bet you there’s a lot more out there…. Thats what people don’t realize……

  • Edward C. Kasper Jr.

    I trout fished in northern Wisconsin for 25 years walked deep in the woods by myself with my fly rod trout fishing creeks. I came across many wild animals bears. Foxes, deer, moose, Fisher, wolves, a badger and yes even a cougar once before the DNR would admit there were any up there. I always packed my 45 auto in my waders for protection. And that cougar was the scaryest animal I ever ran into in 25 years going up there. But I still didn’t pull out my gun ever and shoot at any of them animals in the 25 years going up there, I just let them pass and intonation there way. Most wild animals don’t want anything to do with humans they just as soon give you a wide birth also. Some people just need an excuse to justify pulling the trigger and shooting there gun. Makes them feel macho. Of all the cougar sightings in all the years has anyone ever heard of one killing a human?

  • dee

    They did not have to kill it. They could have trapped it, found a habit or society that would have taken. Conservation officers are to protect the wildlife not destroy them Another black mark on the state.

  • janedoe1994

    Some of you cougar advocates are missing a very important point here. Cougars, by nature, are very elusive animals who tend to stay out of sight and far from human interaction. THIS cat was not behaving like a wild animal. It was running toward a farm AND toward all of the smells, sights and sounds of people. When a large predator has lost its fear of people, we have a problem. It’s not like these cats are over crowded and losing habitat in Illinois as they are in other parts of the country. Another point- About relocating instead of killing- Some of these cats have ALREADY been relocated to this area because of being problematic somewhere else. Starting to connect the dots yet? All animals are lazy (or should I say efficient?) by nature and when they find they can get an easy meal like a calf, a sheep or even dog food out of your pets bowl, they learn to get careless quick. One more thing- some of these cats have not been “RE-introduced” to Illinois- they never left. Those of us who live out in the sticks are quite aware of their continued existence in Illinois and it can be verified by most county historical records. They were here when the first settlers came into Illinois and they have remained to this day. DNR has only expanded the population with rogue cats…

    • dee

      If you really think about it, why have two bears , a cub and a python been found in this general area? They should look at a small zoo or habitat that can’t afford to stay open. That is why these animals are not acting correctly because they are used to people. Again shame on the conservation department. Poor job. resign.

    • Adriane Ebner

      Biologists from Chicago’s Field museum said this animal was looking for shelter and not acting in a threatening manner. It wasn’t running toward humans it was running on the property, that was a stupid comment. DNR should be trained to use a tranquilizer gun. These animals were here before us. I am a mother and I have a small dog but I also respect nature and I’m not a coward who screams “Shoot it, its a threat” at a beautiful wild cat looking for shelter. Humans are ignorant animals!

      • janedoe1994

        Errr….I think you need to reread my comment. I didn’t say it was running toward a human. That’s funny about the biologists saying it was looking for shelter since they were not on the scene and did not witness the cougar’s behavior. Largely what I’m seeing is sympathy from those who have not been in conflict with a cougar. Those of us who have know better. My dog was attacked TWICE by a cougar and lived to “tell” about it. The vet verified the injuries were indeed caused by a cougar. His skin was literally shredded. We’ve also had a calf snatched by one. But you know, since you and your dog have no problem with them out and about maybe you could ask that the next one is relocated to your neighborhood. Let him meet your dog. Rest assured they have been coming into towns too in Illinois so maybe you’ll get to meet one after all ;)

  • Netty

    I seen No reason for that cat to be killed ! It should have been tranquilized and relocated if at all possible I am from the country not the city with a family full of hunters, so I know some animals have to go. Just didn’t feel this one had too!. Everyone has the right to their own option! Not right Not wrong just different!!

  • dee

    They just had a shooting in this area, proving that man is more dangerous than this cat. Contact your people at state and get the laws changed. Including dismissal of dangerous conservation officers.

  • george

    We need to start a foundation for the repopulation of these animals. Along with legislation that protects them. Everyone needs to call their representative and let them know we want them protected and allowed to repopulate.


    I own a farm not far from where this cougar was found. I have horses, poultry,cow/calf operation and most importantly several grand children who love to play in the yard and woodlot around the buildings here. If this animal would have been spotted here I can assure you the DNR would not have had to shoot it because I would already have done so. We all need to stop the “Bambi complex” The reason these animals are showing up in IL is because they have overpopulated their home area. No one with children pets or livestock wants them to be reintroduced to IL.

    • janedoe1994

      Ditto on the Bambi complex. An animal feels nothing from a well placed gun shot. Problem solved. Cougars are not an endangered species and will become a huge problem for country people AND city dwellers alike. The fact that we’re seeing them more and more is proof that they’re becoming over populated.

    • Julie

      After reading more comments. I have changed my thoughts on this completely. Although I feel sorry for the animal. I have to admit if I was walking alone I too would kill this animal. Kill or be killed. This isn’t a little kitty cat. Which I for some reason pictured when I made my first comment. LOL!!!

  • Brent Kincaid

    People, people. This animal would eat a small child. These beasts belong in the depths of the woods. They have no predators, besides a 45. What do you think about the naughty coyotes coming into towns and eating pets? How about we worry about saving unborn baby humans being killed in the whom than killing animals.

  • sue pfleger

    perhaps, if one can sedate a large dog, why not then educate the officers to use tranquilizers? then truck that animal to natural settings..please write your state rep. get funding to equip our IDNR people to be able to handle these animals without killing them.

    • Kat94

      Some of these cougars have been relocated to Illinois for being problematic somewhere else. How many times should our tax dollars be spent to relocate a rogue wild animal?

  • Julie Gray

    The killing of this cougar was not necessary. I understand the farmer being upset and concerned by this cougar wandering (and possibly killing livestock) his land, but the right thing morally to do here was to euthanize and then relocate the cougar. I’m sure this is not the only cougar around nor the last one we will ever see, so what’s going to happen to the others? Are they going to be shot also to be someones prize trophy? Sad world; turn those guns on some of the real perps on earth like child molesters or the equivilant to….

  • dee

    What makes me really afraid, is what if this officer is the same one who shot the guy on 88? I sure don’t want a trigger happy conservation officer to have a gun. Get rid of him. Guess I won’t be going to Morrison Rockwood state park as long as he is around. Scary.

  • Roger

    This Conservation Officer should be given a leave of absence with out pay. the operate word is CONSERVATION. The animal should have been tranquilized and removed from the area if it was causing harm or damage to livestock. NOT KILLED. Where is PETA when you need them.

    I am a hunter and this is TOTALLY unacceptable. People need to co-exist with animals for the balance of life to maintain an equilibrium in nature. this is senseless killing.

    Marc Miller the director of IDNR needs to know our feelings on this. Anyone got his e mail address?

Comments are closed.

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