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Glendale mountain lion sightings mount

March 12, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
Animal control officers say residents reported several sightings in recent weeks. They say the big cats are coming down from the foothills into residential areas.Don't hike or bike alone and keep children and small animals within sight at all times. Those are just some of the warnings from park rangers Thursday after a series of mountain lion sightings.

Animal control officials believe at least two mountain lions are roaming the area.

"Mountain Lions are one of the most powerful predators in nature," said Russ Hauck, park ranger manager for the city of Glendale.

Powerful and dangerous and now, two more mountain lions have been spotted in Glendale three times in the last 30 days: twice in the Verdugo Mountains south of the 10 Freeway, and the most recent sighting at a home just east of the 2 Freeway.

The owners of the home say their teenage daughter spotted the mountain lion lounging by their pool about 9 p.m. Tuesday.

The mountain lion didn't stay long. It took off a few minutes later but today warning notes are posted throughout the neighborhood.

"There have been no encounters where people have been in harm's way," said Hauck. "We're just taking this opportunity to let people know that there have been multiple sightings of mountain lions in this neighborhood."

"Scary," said Glendale resident Irene Evans. "It is scary, especially, you know, there's a sports center right up there and there's a lot of kids in the area."

This mother of two and pet owner says she's not taking any chances.

"You better believe it," said Evans. "My 10-year-old daughter will not be out of the house."

There are these reminders from park rangers to anyone who may come across a mountain lion:

  • Do not approach a lion and don't run -- it could trigger its chase instinct
  • Do not crouch down or bend over. That may lead the lion to confuse you with a deer
  • Do all you can to appear larger, stronger
  • If it attacks, fight back, though park rangers say they generally avoid confrontations
"Appear large, yell and be the person that's making the mountain lion afraid of you," said Hauck.

Park rangers say that lions typically hunt between dusk and dawn. If you happen to come by a lion, call park rangers at (818) 548-3795, and if it's an emergency, do not hesitate to call 911.


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