Several days ago, a large cat was captured on a home security camera in Monroe County, Illinois, and locals are now baffled as to what it was. Portia Oberkfell said that in the early morning hours, her security camera caught the mysterious feline on her property.
When Robert Townsend from 5 On Your Side asked Oberkfell what she originally thought it was, she said, “Maybe a bug flying on the lens since it looked smaller on my phone.” However, she soon realized that it was something much larger than an insect as she explained, “I was shocked immediately and that’s when I nudged my husband and said you’ve got to see this.”
As for what type of large feline it was, Oberkfell admitted that she’s unsure, “That’s kind of the big question right now. Is it a bobcat or is it a cougar?” And it’s not only the Oberkfells that are baffled as the Monroe County sheriff’s deputies and the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) are unsure as well. If anyone else spots the animal, Major Chris Lutz has some important advice, “If you see [the] animal obviously don’t approach it. We really can’t do anything about it, but contact DNR if it resurfaces.”
There haven’t been any new reports in the last several days of anyone seeing the large cat roaming around so perhaps it’s gone. “I just hope it’s working its way through and heading out of Monroe County,” Oberkfell stated, adding that she enjoys spending time outdoors with her two dogs but now she’s scared.
A news report showing the security footage of the large feline can be viewed here.
This is a very interesting and mysterious sighting since the American bobcat is the only native wild cat in Illinois according to the Illinois Bobcat Foundation. There are approximately 5,000 American bobcats currently in the state. However, if you compare the footage to a photograph of an American bobcat, it’s hard to tell if they’re the same animal.
On the other hand, between 2002 and 2009, the remains of four cougars have been found in Illinois. DNA analysis revealed that they were genetically alike to those living in South Dakota and could have traveled eastward. Furthermore, there have been numerous other confirmed sightings of cougars in the state, although there hasn’t been any evidence found of resident breeding populations. It is possible that cougars from South Dakota, Nebraska, and Rocky Mountain states have moved towards the eastern states to find new places to live as their populations rise.
So, what exactly is roaming around Monroe County? The mystery of the large Illinois feline continues…