Cougar and bear sightings reported in Rock County

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Shelly Birkelo
Monday, June 16, 2014

JANESVILLE—A resident in the 3400 block of Tennyson Drive reported seeing a cougar Sunday night behind his residence, said Sgt. Aaron Ellis of the Janesville Police Department.

“It's definitely not a house cat,” he said, after receiving a photograph of the animal taken 300 feet from the home.

The sighting was reported at 8:07 p.m. Sunday in a subdivision in the far southwest corner of Janesville off Afton Road, he said.

Police notified the Department of Natural Resources, Ellis said.

“I'm sure they'll go out today and try to find footprints” of the cougar, he said.

Ellis said anyone seeing the animal should stay away from it and call the Janesville DNR office at 608-743-4800.

“It's not a nice kitty and definitely not a house cat,” he said, after viewing several images.

Ellis also said the Illinois conservation police notified Rock County area law enforcement Thursday about an American black bear seen in several northern Illinois communities. The bear was apparently moving north.

Later that day, Clinton Police received a report of the bear in the Carvers Rock Park area off Highway 14 in Rock County, he said.

Since then, Ellis is not aware of any other black bear sitings in the area.

But if people see the bear, Ellis said to avoid it.

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