Wildlife Expert Downplays Cougar Concerns in Chicago Suburbs

WHEATON, Ill., Sept. 17 (UPI) — A wildlife expert says paw prints found recently in Wheaton, Ill., are simply too small to have come from a large cat like a cougar.

Mike Brown, the Brookfield Zoo’s lead keeper for carnivores, said the 2-inch to 3-inch wide prints found in a Wheaton creek bed may even have been created by a canine, the Chicago Sun-Times said Thursday.

“They were way too small. Even prints from a small cougar would be a lot larger,” Brown said Wednesday of the nearly six paw prints found.

The discovery of the paw prints came after a local resident reported seeing a large cat in the area on Tuesday. That followed up a jogger’s report last week of a large cat in nearby Northside Park.

To help identify the animal that created the paw prints, police in Wheaton made plaster molds of the paw prints to send to the Brookfield Zoo for analysis, the Sun-Times said.

“These prints could have been from almost anything,” Brown said.

Copyright 2009 by United Press International

Categorized | Animals, Other
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