Woman reports daylight cougar sighting|jon_downes|jon@cfz.org.uk|01/13/05 at 12:14:40|jon_downes|xx|0|172.188.197.10|From The Times (Munster, IN):
Woman reports daylight cougar sighting
DAVID MITCHELL
December 18, 2004

CRETE, Ill. | It may be a while before Kelly Travis lets her Pomeranian out of the house.

Driving to pick her children up from school Friday afternoon, the Crete resident said she spotted what she believed to be the cougar that has managed to elude officials in Lynwood, Dyer and Schererville.

Travis said she was driving on Richton Road near Old Crete Road when she spotted the animal on the northwest corner of the intersection. She described it as a very large, wild cat, with a long tail, a white underbelly and a burnt-orange coat.

It first looked as if the cat was chasing something toward the street and nearly ran in front of her car, Travis said. Suddenly, it made a beeline into a heavily wooded, rural area known to house a sizable deer population.

"It would be a good place to hang out," she said. "Plenty to eat there."

Police told Travis they had received no other reports of a cougar sighting, she said. But Travis said she knows the area's indigenous wildlife -- such as bobcats, red foxes and coyotes -- and what she saw was not a common visitor.

"It was distinctly not of that area," she said.

Meanwhile, in Lynwood, where the first cougar sighting took place, police said they have not received word of the cat since last month.

According to Monee police, there haven't been any cougar sightings for years.

Still, the trek from Lynwood, Dyer or Schererville to Crete is not a monumental one for an animal to make. Travis said she preferred to let people know the cougar could be in the area, rather than have someone be taken by surprise.

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