Chicago Police Defend Decision to Kill Cougar

April 16, 2008

Chicago Police Superintendent Jody Weis is defending the officers who shot and killed a cougar in the Roscoe Village neighborhood. Weis says no one should underestimate the danger a wild animal can pose.

WEIS: Everybody loves animals, there are a lot of people who love animals as I do, but a wild animal in a residential area, that is a recipe for disaster.

Dr. Bruce Patterson is Curator of Mammals at the Field Museum. He agrees with the police department's decision to shoot.

PATTERSON: I'm not sure the police had any alternative. Finding a large, capable predator in the midsts of a neighborhood and having no way to restrain or control it.

Patterson says after years of being absent from the area, the local population of cougars is undoubtedly making a come-back. But he says given the animals' characteristic sneakiness, no one has a good count.