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Burbank mountain lions: Officials meet with concerned residents

Wildlife officials met with Burbank residents Saturday where there have been an increase in mountain lion sightings.
February 8, 2014 12:00:00 AM PST
State and local wildlife officials met with local residents at Burbank Estates on Saturday, where there have been a growing number of mountain lion sightings.

"It's really escalated in the past, I would say two to three weeks," said resident Namrata Cooper. "The other morning, we have our own security here in the neighborhood. Our security gentleman at 4 a.m. sighted a lioness with her cub."

While there have been no attacks in that area, others living within the Verdugo foothills haven't been so lucky. A mountain lion that was recently captured on home surveillance is believed to have attacked and killed several dogs stretching from Sun Valley to Glendale.

Wildlife officials believe there may be two mountain lions in the Verdugo foothills, but only one is a male given how territorial they are.

"Right now this mountain lion is just behaving the way a mountain lion does. He's curious, he has a food source, he has some deer in the hills, unfortunately he's taken some dogs," said J.C. Healy, game warden with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Mountain lions are protected under state law. Officials say that relocation is not an option unless there is an attack on a human, which is very rare. In fact, in the last 120 years in California, there have only been 17 mountain lion attacks.

Wildlife experts say they best thing to do is keep pets inside between dusk and dawn when mountain lions are most active, remove pet food from outside. It attracts deer, which in turn attracts mountain lions.

Experts say that if you do happen to encounter a mountain lion, you should make yourself as large as possible and yell and scream. You should not turn and run away, which will trigger the attack response in the animal.


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