Governor Pat Quinn signed Illinois Senate Bill 3049, protecting “specified wild birds and wild mammals in the State of Illinois” and adding the gray wolf, American black bear and cougar to that list of protected species.
According to Switchboard, the National Resources Defense Council Staff blog, and parts of SB3049,:
Governor Quinn signed the Protection of Wildlife Bill, which ensures that these carnivores will no longer be killed in our state without good cause.
According to researchers at Southern Illinois University, seven gray wolves, four mountain lions, and two black bears have been spotted in Illinois since 2000. And just a few months ago, there were reports of a third black bear near Rockford.
Until now, these animals could be shot on sight, no questions asked. And that is exactly what happened when mountain lions wandered into the state. Now, thanks to the new law, hunting and shooting mountain lions, gray wolves, and black bears is illegal, except in cases where the animals threaten livestock or public safety.
Tags: Pat Quinn