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Cougar sighting reported in Wood Dale

April 14, 2009 3:24:48 PM PDT
West suburban police are keeping a watch out for cougars. A Wood Dale resident called police after seeing what she said looked like a big cat walking across her backyard.

The Department of Natural Resources is now on the case.

On Easter morning, Wood Dale resident Sharon Cote said she was outside in her back yard with her two dogs, Jack and Ellie, when she spotted something unusual, something that looked like a cougar.

"It was a long catlike creature whose tail went down to the ground and tipped up a little bit so I assumed it was a cougar," said Sharon Cote, Wood Dale resident.

Cote, who lives in the 100-block of Addison Road and whose back yard is next to Salt Creek, says she is accustomed to seeing wild animals. She decided to call 911 to report the sighting.

"Very nice lady came on the line. She said I suggest you keep small animals and small children in the house right now. She added that he's been spotted before," said Cote.

Wood Dale police decided to investigate and showed Cote pictures of cougars and other wild animals.

"This is the first cougar sighting I'm aware of in wood dale so we did investigate and talk to her. Looked around. Didn't really recover any evidence," said Greg Vesta, Wood Dale deputy police chief.

Mrs. Cote said the animal came out of a corner of her backyard. Cote, who lives on an acre property, said she's now afraid to come out in the mornings, afternoon and early evening.

"I have two puppies I love dearly and now i can't use my yard for fear that this thing is going to come back," said Cote.

It's been a year since Chicago police were able to gun down a wild cougar in a North Side neighbor. They're not taking any chances and will alert the community.

Vesta says since it has been one year since Chicago police were forced to gun down a wild cougar in a North Side neighborhood they are not taking any chances and have alerted the community.

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources says they will continue to investigate . Authorities added that if someone spots a cougar or other wild creatures and fears for their life they should call police.


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