Reporting Suzanne Le Mignot
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LAKE FOREST, Ill. (CBS) — It’s not unheard of but it’s certainly unusual: Police on the North Shore are on the hunt for a mountain lion.
People who live in and around Lake Forest are calling police, saying they’ve spotted one.
CBS 2’s Suzanne Le Mignot reports.
On Thursday night, a homeowner says a mountain lion walked right through a grassy area and came straight toward her.
Jane Stickney was walking her black lab, Hope, when the dog began barking “like crazy,” she says.
The animal that attracted Hope’s attention appeared to be a mountain lion as big as her 80-pound pet.
“We see a lot of wildlife around here — deer and coyote and things — but I could never imagine that. It’s kind of scary with someone with a small dog or children. It was unbelievable, really,” Stickney says.
The big cat did not seem afraid of her.
“At that point, I made a retreat,” Stickney says.
She lives near Conway Farms. The Conway Farms Homeowners Association issued a notice to its residents saying there have been at least three reported sightings of a large cougar- or mountain lion-type cat prowling around that part of Lake Forest.
In one incident, a homeowner saw a mountain lion grab a rabbit and run into some bushes, says Phil Duncan, property manager for the Conway Farms Homeowners Association.
“I would just have everybody be very vigilant and report any sightings that you might see,” he says. “It’s a concern.”
Mountain lions can make their way into urban areas. In April 2008, a mountain lion was spotted on the streets of Roscoe Village. The animal was shot and killed.
Lake Forest Police say they have received many calls from people who have spotted a mountain lion. Police say they haven’t been able to confirm the animal’s presence.