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Dead Mountain Lion 200+ Miles Away from Chicago

By Margaret Lyons in Miscellaneous on Dec 6, 2004 5:57PM

Here, kitty kitty kitty. Image: www.borealforest.orgAs an indicator of the impending apocalypse, weird animals have been showing up weird places. What? Not the apocalypse? Just a result of deforestation, urban expansion, changing food sources, and the booming Chihuahua population? Oh, that is the apocalypse? Yeah, we're ranty for a Monday morning. Sure, we're horribly moody this morning, but still, take our warning seriously: if you're in New Boston, keep your eyes peeled for mountain lions (aka cougars, panthers, pumas, and catamounts).

Kenny Tharp and his pals were deer hunting on Saturday, when Christmas came early! They found a big old dead mountain lion in the woods. "We've been calling everybody and nobody believes it, it's been a steady stream of traffic coming in. Nobody believes it till they see it," he told WQAD. Yeah, people are just beating down the Tharps' door to come admire the carcass. Mmmm.

The mountain lion weighs 98 pounds, and despite a bullet- or arrow-hole, a vet pal told Tharp the mountain lion probably died of dehydration.

According to the AP story from the Trib,

In Illinois, a train killed a male cougar in July 2000 in Randolph County. It was the state's first documented wild cougar in more than 135 years and the only confirmed mountain lion east of the Mississippi River, excluding Florida.

So, yeah, mountain lions probably stick to what, like, mountains and shit. That poor sucker was a long way from home.

Tony Petreikis, of the Illinois Conservation Police, can't say for sure if there are more cougars hanging around. "We don't know if there are other ones, it's very possible, but it's possible there's not," he said, so…be careful? Maybe they'll mix with the coyotes and Illinois will get a special state predator, the Coyougar, a half-big-cat half-big-dog crossbreed that eats pets and represents agility and scavenging. Go Coyougars!