“To be proactive, earlier today I reached out to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources for advice on what people should do in the event that they see the animal,” Booker said. “The Illinois Department of Natural Resources advises the following:
If you see a cougar, do not run. Do not surprise the cougar. Make noise to ensure that the cougar is aware of your presence. A cougar is not likely to attack a person unless it feels trapped or provoked or you appear to be prey (which is why you should not run). If you are in a group, gather everyone together if possible and move as a group.
Respect the cougar’s space, and do not approach the animal. If the cougar sees you, stand your ground; look as large as possible by standing up straight and putting your arms up in the air and slowly back away. If possible, go inside a building or get into a vehicle. If a cougar makes contact with you, always try to fight it off. Throw rocks, use sticks. Do not play dead.”
“We do not have any reason to believe that the mountain lion poses any significant risk to the residents of our County,” Booker said. “He looks pretty scary on the trail cams,” Booker said, “but we have received absolutely no reports of any threatening encounters with humans,” Booker added.
“Hopefully, he is merely a unique visitor, just passing through,” Booker said.
“If anyone sees the mountain lion and grows concerned for their safety, they should not hesitate to call us,” Booker said. “My office will work closely with the Department of Natural Resources if the situation warrants it,” Booker said.
“The Department of Natural Resources requests that mountain sightings be reported to it,” Booker said. “Sightings can be reported online at https://www.wildlifeillinois.org/sightings/report.
“We are not aware of any reason why people should stay indoors or act differently,” Booker added. “Our farmers in rural Morrison may wish to keep a bit of a closer eye on their livestock until he moves on,” Booker said.