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Chicago-area man reports mountain lion sighting

By
Ben Hooper

Sept. 25 (UPI) -- Police in a western suburb of Chicago are warning residents to use caution after a local man reported spotting a mountain lion in his back yard.

The City of Wheaton posted a warning on Facebook from the city's police department, warning residents that a cougar sighting was reported in a resident's back yard, but officers were unable to locate the animal.

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The resident, Matt Marron, said he was working in his yard when he spotted the big cat.

"Just though, 'Oh my gosh. How can that be a cat when it's that big? And it's in my backyard,'" Marron told WGN-TV.

Marron said police collected a fur sample for testing, but he is confident that the animal was a mountain lion.

"It couldn't have been a domesticated cat. It wasn't a 'kitty.' I don't know. I don't have a lot of explanations for it," he said.

Nearby residents have reported similar sightings on social media in recent days.

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources said there are no breeding populations of mountain lions in the state, but they do occasionally wander into the state.

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A cougar was shot and killed by police in Chicago's Roscoe Village neighborhood in 2009.

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