Cougar removed from residential area for safety reasons

Photo by Darren Iozia


A cougar traveling through west-central Illinois has been tranquilized and removed from a residential and commercial area in Springfield.

Dennis Axer/Getty Images

A cougar traveling through west-central Illinois has been tranquilized and removed from a residential and commercial area in Springfield and will be taken to a sanctuary that specializes in the care of cougars.

Wildlife experts and public safety officials from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, Illinois Conservation Police, Department of Agriculture Wildlife Services, and Springfield Police determined that the cougar was making its way into residential and commercial areas of Springfield, posing a threat to residents and property.

The cougar was abducted around noon Friday and will be taken to the Exotic Feline Rescue Center, a 260-acre sanctuary in Center Point, Indiana.

“I’m confident the mountain lion will be protected and cared for in its new home,” said Illinois Department of Natural Resources Director Colleen Callahan. “I also want to thank the families of Springfield for being careful and keeping their distance while our experts worked to keep the community and the mountain lion safe.