Mystery Animal Seen Lurking In Bloomingdale Preserve

(CBS) – An unidentified animal seen on thermal video in a Bloomingdale forest preserve – some speculate it could be a large cat — has people buzzing in DuPage County.

CBS 2’s Mike Parker reports.

The Meacham Grove Forest Preserve is 252 magnificent acres of prairies, fishing spots, jogging and bike trails and thick woodlands.  In those woods, something lurks.

A police helicopter using a thermal imaging video camera caught pictures last month of something alive high in the trees. The camera clearly shows something moving way up near the treetops.  It appears to have a tail.

“They flew over it for a few minutes, took some video of it, and they thought it was some type of possible large cat, on a tree limb,” Bloomingdale Police Chief Frank Giamarrese says.

Could it be a cougar, mountain lion or a large domestic cat?

The chief forest preserve naturalist, John Oldenburg, says as far as he can tell it’s a blob in a tree that moves.

“We have seen no evidence of any large feline cat, bobcat, cougar or whatever,” he says.

Still, what if there is a large cat lurking and you’re confronted?

“I would just keep my distance, maybe notify local law enforcement or the forest preserve or (Department of Natural Resources),” Giamarrese says.

He says he would not recommend calling, “Here, kitty, kitty.”

Since the video sighting, forest preserve officials have put motion-activated cameras in the woods there, hoping to get a glimpse of whatever it is. So far, no such glimpse. The mystery remains.

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