A mountain lion that had been stalking around residential areas of Springfield, IL, has finally been captured.
Officials found the wildcat in a backyard on Friday, Oct. 29, according to Illinois Conservation Police. Workers with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources tranquilized the animal and took it to a sanctuary that specializes in caring for large felines.
“Thank you to our hardworking wildlife staff and conservation police and our partners across federal, state, and local agencies for handling this difficult situation with the professionalism and care that this beautiful wild animal and concerned residents deserve,” IDNR Director Colleen Callahan said in a statement.
“I am confident that the mountain lion will be protected and cared for at its new home,” she continued. “I also want to thank the families of Springfield for being cautious and keeping their distance while our experts worked to ensure the safety of the community and the mountain lion.”
The male mountain lion was captured last November and fitted it with a GPS collar as part of a research project. On Wednesday (Oct. 26), people with the project noticed its location had moved to the west side of the city and notified IDNR.
Before landing in Springfield, the mountain lion traveled through parts of Nebraska and Iowa without incident. Once it entered IL, it traversed McDonough County and Cass County.
The department released a warning on Wed. before heading out to find the cat. As a result, a local school moved recess indoors until the animal was captured.
Mountain Lion Captured After Leading California Officials on an Hours-Long Chase
Officials in California also tracked down a mountain lion this week that had moved into the Brentwood area of Los Angeles.
On Thursday, Oct. 27, around 10 am, police and Los Angeles Department of Fish and Wildlife officials responded to multiple reports of a wildcat prowling through neighborhoods. Officers were able to quickly locate the animal, but it took them hours to capture it.
Upon the initial sighting, LADFW workers fired three tranquilizer darts at the mountain lion. But none of the darts made contact. Officers then followed the animal through a wooded area before it cornered itself in the backyard of a home. LAFW successfully tranquilized the animal around 4 pm.
Officials with the California Fish and Wildlife shared that the mountain lion wasn’t harmed during the chase. The department currently has the animal in custody, but the department will soon relocate it into the Angeles National Forest.