Mountain lion struck and killed on I-88


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A wild mountain lion, similar to the one pictured above, was hit and killed on I-88 yesterday, according to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

DeKALB COUNTY — The Illinois Department of Natural Resources officials announced yesterday a wild mountain lion was hit by a vehicle and killed on the I-88 highway in DeKalb County. 

The IDNR wildlife experts believe that this is the same mountain lion that was recorded on camera on a trail in Whiteside County in September, according to the press release. 

The IDNR and the Illinois State police sent the body of the mountain lion to a wildlife biologist at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. The department hopes that scientists at UIUC will be able to determine where it came from and be able to track how it traveled across the midwest by conducting a thorough DNA analysis and full necropsy.  

The department is also currently tracking another mountain lion with a GPS collar that they received earlier reports on this mountain lion in October. The collar was originally attached by the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission as part of an ongoing project. The NGPC has been monitoring the mountain lion’s progress as it moved from Iowa to Illinois. IDNR will continue to watch the lion while it is in Illinois and report progress to NGPC. 

Native mountain lions in the state of Illinois died out in the 1870s due to loss of habitat and human development. Since 2015, mountain lions have been a protected species and it is illegal to hunt or kill them unless there is a viable threat to your life or property.  

The department wishes to iterate that mountain lions rarely pose a threat and that in most cases the animal will run away. However, if they don’t run, stand upright, throw stones or objects and yell. Under no circumstances do you run, back up slowly while continuing to watch the animal.  

The IDNR receives many reports each year, however, most reports are false or cases of mistaken identity. Regardless, all reports are investigated. To report a sighting visit the department’s reporting website.

For people wishing to learn more about mountain lions visit the IDNR informational website