Mount Prospect police received a report about noon Tuesday of a large cat — as in not a normal house cat — in the area of Elmhurst Road and Dempster. The caller called Des Plaines police and the Des Plaines police notified Mount Prospect police. The large cat was last seen headed freaky fast toward Jimmy John’s parking lot in the shopping center at the northwest corner of Elmhurst and Dempster. Only one call was received at the noon hour.
Mount Prospect police responded immediately, but did not see the cat in the area.
Last October 2011 there were several sightings of a cougar or mountain lion in the Conway Farms subdivision of Lake Forest, just east of Chicago Bears headquarters, Halas Hall. Some reports of suspicious tracks in the mud have also been reported in the area.
The distance between the Bears lair and Elmhurst Road and Dempster Road is about 15 miles — straight line. Meandering down the Des Plaines River forest cover then west on Dempster Road would be about a 21-mile trek. Young male cougars will travel a great distance to get away from another older male cougar dominating a territory.
On April 14, 2008 Chicago police shot and killed a cougar on the north side of Chicago in the Roscoe Village neighborhood less than one mile west of Wrigleyville. DNA tests were consistent with cougars from the Black Hills of South Dakota.
There were also four reported cougar sightings in Wilmette in April 2008. A large cougar-like cat was also reported in North Chicago in March 2008.
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