The recent killing of a cougar in Chicago has brought concerns over the safety of the people living in the state, the number of cougars entering the state, and protection of these animals. There are very few reported cases of cougar sightings in Illinois and knowledge of their survivability and numbers are limited at best.
The fact is that cougars pose almost no threat to humans. They naturally avoid human contact and reports of humans being killed by cougars are very rare. Additionally, the entire area which is now America was once populated by cougars. They have been pushed from their homes by human encroachment. Their numbers in the west have risen dramatically thanks to laws protecting these beautiful animals.
People have a natural fear of large predators and unless laws are enacted to protect the cougars entering Illinois, they will be unable to return to the state successfully. Hysteria and ignorance has already proven to be lethal to them in the streets of Chicago.
Until these animals can be studied and the situation better understood, we need to protect these amazing animals from slaughter by overzealous people through laws prohibiting their killing and better training of our police/animal control.
Please also contact Illinois legislatures directly to help raise awareness and help save wild cougars. Contact info is available thru the following linkshttp://www.votesmart.org/official_state.php?state_id=IL&go2.x=19&go2.y=15http://www.votesmart.org/official_local.php?state_id=IL&go2.x=13&go2.y=8
We the undersigned are concerned about protections for cougars entering Illinois. There are currently no laws protecting wild cougars and little to no training for our police/animal control experts to handle a confrontation with them. I ask that you please create a bill which would protect these animals from further killings until the situation can be properly researched by experts. The knowledge of how cougars can survive and thrive in Illinois is limited at best.
There have been very few cougar sightings in the state but the recent incident in Chicago involving the killing of a wild cougar shows that these animals need protection. Cougars are naturally fearful of humans and will avoid contact with them whenever possible. As such, cougars pose almost not threat to humans. The recent incident in Chicago shows the great need for not only laws to protect them, but better training/education of our police and animal control specialists to properly handle this situation.
The fact is that cougars were once located all over Illinois and are indeed natural residents of the area. They have only left the area due to human encroachment. Due to the wonderful efforts of people in many western states, the population there has recovered. This has been done primarily through laws and education of the public. The people in these states live in harmony with these beautiful animals. There are numerous methods for keeping them away from heavily populated areas and livestock.
The cougar can once again be an amazing and beautiful member of the already excellent wild animal community which resides in Illinois and I ask that you help to ensure that this can become a reality.
Thank you very much for your time and your consideration of this very important issue.