Since moving out to Pecatonica, I see a lot of wild animals on the roads during my daily commute to Rockford. Deer, raccoons, possums, rabbits, coyotes, foxes, I've seen them all in the last week and a half alone, but the one thing I have not seen before while driving is a Lynx!

Photo by Zdeněk Macháček on Unsplash
Photo by Zdeněk Macháček on Unsplash

For those that don't know, a Lynx is a medium-sized wild cat native to North America, Europe, and Asia. They usually live alone or in small groups, and hunt small prey like birds, squirrels, and rabbits in the forests. Their thick fur, big paws, long legs, and tufted ears help them survive harsh, winter climates. Lynx typically keep to themselves and aren't very aggressive, BUT there is one running around Oak Park, Illinois right now that has residents mildly concerned.

Lynx On the Loose in Illinois

According to the Wednesday Journal of Oak Park and River Forest, Oak Park health officials have been tracking a Lynx moving throughout the village for the last week. They cannot determine where it came from, or where it is going, but it seems to be happy to call Oak Park home right now. Public Health Director Theresa Chapple-McGruder told the Wednesday Journal;

the lynx has not exhibited any aggressive behavior at this time and appears to be quite skittish around humans. However, it might attack if it feels cornered.


Why Should Rockford-Area Residents Be Concerned About This Lynx On The Loose?

As I open up the Google Maps app from my office in Rockford, it says Oak Park, Illinois is located 62 miles from where I currently sit. Why is this concerning? Lynxes typically travel up to 70 miles a day, so this cat could be in your neighborhood as you're reading this. 😲

If you happen to come across a Lynx sometime soon, LEAVE IT ALONE and it shouldn't bother you. Make sure to keep a close eye on your little pets, and never let them outside unsupervised. Health officials also say to leave lights on at night and report any lynx sightings immediately to your local health department or animal control.

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