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Cougar Fatally Shot Near Western Illinois Town Of Morrison

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Illinois conservation police shot and killed a cougar on Wednesday. (Credit: IDNR)

Illinois conservation police shot and killed a cougar on Wednesday. (Credit: IDNR)

CHICAGO (CBS) — Authorities on Wednesday shot and killed a cougar near the western Illinois town of Morrison.

Cougar sightings in Illinois are rare. There have been three others in the state since 2002, according to a news release from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

A Whiteside County farm owner called police after spotting a large cat running toward the farm-house.

Conservation police were able to track the cat inside a corn crib.

Police decided to euthanize the cougar and shot it with a rifle.

The cougar appeared to weigh more than 100 pounds and was about 51/2 feet long.

Cougars have been found in the state in recent years, likely traveling from states to the west of Illinois, including South Dakota.

The state has confirmed three cougars in Illinois between 2002 and 2008.

One was killed by a train in Randolph County in 2002.

Another was killed by a hunter in Mercer County in 2004.

A third was shot and killed by Chicago police in the 3400 block of North Hoyne Avenue on the north side of Chicago in April, 2008. It was reportedly the only cougar ever spotted in the history of the city.