Big cat photographed in East Peoria

By WEEK Producer

February 15, 2013 Updated Feb 15, 2013 at 11:01 PM CDT

EAST PEORIA, Ill. -- Some East Peoria residents say they have seen a big cat roaming their neighborhood and it's no house pet.

Charles Pierman photographed the animal in his backyard last month using a trail camera. Pierman lives on Star Rim Drive.

One of his neighbors said there have been at least two other sightings over the past year. Pierman contacted Forest Park Nature Center and said they indicated the animal could be a bobcat.

"The (person at the) nature center said they've seen an increase in them along the Illinois River," said Pierman. "And of course we're not too far from the river, so its fairly logical they could be along the East Peoria bluff."

Pierman is also waiting to hear back from the Department of Natural Resources about the animal.

A neighbor says he's afraid to let his dog out at night because of the sightings.