Talk Talk Talk Talk Talk Myself to Death: The Wilds of Chicago

Monday, April 14, 2008

The Wilds of Chicago

Chicago had an adventure this afternoon. After reports of cougars and mountain lions in the north part of the Chicago area for the last couple of weeks, an actual cougar was spotted on Saturday morning in Wilmette, just a couple of suburbs north. But then this afternoon, a cougar was not only spotted in the city itself, it was shot and killed by police. This happened on the North Side, so in a couple of days, the same cougar could be in both places, but could it travel the 10 or 15 miles without otherwise being spotted? The Chicago Tribune has some speculation:

Animal control officials were not sure if the cougar was wild or an escaped pet, though they noted that it is illegal to keep the animals as pets. It's unclear how a cougar could have traveled south into Chicago from Wilmette, but the areas are connected by a Metra train route.

It's true, people ride that train between Wilmette and Chicago all the time, so why not the cougar. Of course, The Sun-Times reported that the Wilmette cougar was spotted near the "L" station, and the CTA is cheaper than Metra, so . . .

At the same time, I don't recall ever crossing a massive bridge to get from Chicago to Wilmette, so I'd say there's pretty much uninterrupted land between here and there, too. If it's the same cougar, maybe it made its way on foot. But whether we ever figure out just where the cougar came from, I somehow suspect that this guy had nothing to do with it.


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