Springfield, Illinois (WAND) – The Illinois Department of Natural Resources announced that a mountain lion spotted in Springfield is being tranquilized and relocated.
IDNR has been tracking and observing cougars west of Springfield for several days, but on Friday decided to move the cougars to a sanctuary that specializes in big cat care.
Wildlife experts and public safety officials from the IDNR, the Illinois Conservation Police, the U.S. Department of Agriculture Wildlife Service (USDA WS), and the Springfield Police Department all suspect that cougars have strayed into residential and commercial areas of Springfield. determined to pose an imminent danger. It was a threat to residents and property and therefore had to be removed.
A cougar wearing a GPS collar headed from Nebraska to Illinois and was detected by satellite Wednesday morning in western Springfield, according to IDNR.
IDNR officials conferred with officials from the Nebraska Games and Parks Commission, but the Nebraska Games and Parks Commission declined an offer to send the mountain lions back to their state.
USDA WS staff will sedate the mountain lion around noon Friday and transport the animal to the Exotic Feline Rescue Center (ERFC), a 260-acre cat sanctuary in Center Point, Indiana.
Colleen Callahan, Director of IDNR, said, “The hardworking wildlife staff and conservation police, federal and federal staff, have addressed this difficult situation with the professionalism and care this beautiful wildlife and concerned residents deserve. We thank our partners, state and local agencies.” “We are confident that the mountain lion will be protected and cared for in its new home. I would also like to thank my family in Springfield for being cautious and keeping their distance while working on .
Earlier this week, IDNR notified residents west of Springfield’s Veterans Parkway that a mountain lion was detected on the western edge of the city and was being tracked by researchers.
For more information about Mountain Lions in Illinois, visit https://bit.ly/ILmountainlions.
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