I cannot believe the cops shot the mountain lion that was roaming around Chicago. According to DNA, it was a wild cat, not someone's pet that escaped. The Lincoln Park Zoo is located only two miles away from where it was killed. They have trained professionals there who know how to subdue wild animals. But no, the cops couldn't wait for them or animal control, for that matter. They claim that the mountain lion, cougar, puma -- same animal, different name -- leaped at them, leaving them no choice but to shoot.
Except at one point, a photographer got the animal on video running in a completely different direction away from the cops. It was also leaping six foot fences without much difficulty. So you get the feeling it was trying to get out of Dodge. Most mountain lions attack using stealth. If you catch them in the act they'll often run the other way. That's what Marlin Perkins told me the last time we were in Omaha shooting Wild Kingdom.
Meanwhile, everyone wants to know how a mountain lion got into the city. Easy. It walked. There's a line of forest preserves stretching from the Wisconsin border through the northern suburbs into the northwestern neighborhoods of Chicago. It's pretty much a straight shot through the woods, except for having to cross some streets along the way.
I have personal knowledge of some of it, because there's a bike trail that I used to ride that goes through miles and miles of forested land. Many times I almost wiped out because I'd come around the corner and there'd be some damn white tail deer right in front of me picking its butt. Or Bambi and its mother would jump out of the bushes smack dab in front of me, like a some kind of wildlife GOTCHA.
Now there's been a second mountain lion sighting in the lagoons, which are in the northern end of the forest preserves, about six short blocks from my stepmother's house. Two runners and a cop claim to be witnesses to this new sighting, which happened after the other cat was terminated. They're taking the reports seriously, mainly because a police officer confirmed it. For some reason you need a cop to see these things or they don't count. Like someone in suburban law enforcement would know a mountain lion from a tarp.
I remember when the now dead mountain lion was first sighted. Some soccer mom claimed she saw it in her back yard. Needless to say, nobody believed her. She kept saying she knew it wasn't a deer because it had a long tail. Zero credibility.
Lots of good eating around these parts I must say. Tasty joggers on the bike path along the edge of the lagoons. There's a boat ramp where delicious people launch their kayaks and canoes. Did I mention all the fat fishermen who're out there trying to catch the two inch bass? I've seen a few woodchucks, a lot of herons, even an occasional coyote traveling the roads, and it's hard to miss the distinctive smell of fresh skunk, or a rotting raccoon dead on the road. Oh, the menu includes kids and pets, too.
Even so, they better not kill this one.