More Cougars Roaming North Chicago?

Searchers swooped low over the Skokie Lagoons in a helicopter today to look for signs of a cougar after several reported sightings of a big cat there -- including a sighting Tuesday, a day after a 2-year-old cougar was shot by police in Chicago.

Two Cook County Forest Preserve District biologists and a forest preserve police officer spent about 1 1/2 hours hovering above the sprawling forest preserve, but saw no signs of a cougar or other large cat.

"It was all coyotes, deer and waterfowl -- no signs of big cats," said biologist Chris Anchor, one of the airborne searchers.

A ground search by forest preserve workers and police also was taking place today in the forest preserve, which sits at the northern end of Cook County near Skokie.

"We¹re just being extra, double cautious because of the circumstances," said Anchor, referring to the Monday night discovery of a 122-pound cougar in the city¹s Roscoe Village.

"Because of what occurred in Chicago, it behooves us to check out any sightings that seem credible," he added.

The most recent report of a big cat at the forest preserve came Tuesday morning, Anchor said.

Another sighting at Erickson Woods in the southwest corner of the park -- came about 5:30 p.m. Sunday, said another Cook County official, who asked not to be identified.


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