Black Panthers and Tawny Cougars in Illinois

(Photo courtesy Valerie Abbott)

Illinois has three confirmed cougar kills in recent years:

15th July 2000: Male cougar killed by a train in Randolph County.

Big Cat Comeback?

4th December 2004: Male cougar found by a bow hunter in New Boston (Mercer County).

Mercer County Cougar

The Mercer County Cougar

14th March 2008: Male cougar shot and killed in Roscoe Village neighborhood of Chicago (Cook County).

Cougar Killed in Chicago


Links to various articles pertaining to big cats in Illinois.

Alleged Cougar Sightings Busted By IDNR

The beast of the bluffs

Big Cat Comeback?

Big Cat Marks

Black Panthers in Illinois

Cougars in Illinois?

Cougar Killed in Chicago

Cougar sightings catch authorities’ attention

Illinois DNR debunks cougar claim

Illinois’ Recent Puma Kills

Just a wild cat chase?

Midwest Cougar Sightings

Phantom Panthers & Big Cats Of Illinois

They’r b-a-a-a-c-k

What is a Black Panther?

Wildcat scare keeps Palmyra pupils inside / DNR officials doubt it

4 Responses to “Black Panthers and Tawny Cougars in Illinois”

  1. Les Hauser says:

    Stan: Have been wanting to comment on your discussion of black panthers. When I was growing up my grandfather, who was born in 1884 near Peoria, told me they were a major problem for farmers along the Illinois River. He eventually took over the family farm near Spring Bay, north of Peoria, and said many a night he and his brothers went out hunting them because they were killing their livestock. And he always described them as black panthers. Interesting! Les Hauser

  2. stancourtney says:

    Thanks Les.

  3. Steve Kelley says:

    During the late 1950s, my grandparents claimed to have seen a black panther on their farm (between Farmington & Yates City).

  4. adam engesetter says:

    I believe it.. my friend and I were driving home one night in northern illinois, the town of roscoe coming back from poplar grove and we stopped in the middle of the road to be what looked like a black panther. The eyes shined in the head lights, and it went in the ditch. It started running as we drove to catch up i had realized we were going about 30 mph. At that moment we caught up it had dipped under a fence in someone’s farm house and it was gone.. nobody believes us. But I am sure of what I saw.

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