Mountain Lion Cub Takes up Residence in Pacific Palisades Backyard

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A young mountain lion spent more than eight hours lounging high up a tree in a Pacific Palisades backyard on Thursday.

Gina Vincent first spotted the cat at her house Thursday morning after it got into a tussle with her dog, Bella, behind the pool area in the family's backyard.

"They were clawing at each other and barking, and the cat was hissing at my dog," Vincent told KTLA. "And then my dog kind of lunged toward the cat and she chased her up to a tree, and then (the cat) just scampered up the tree trunk."

Vincent's home sits right up against the base of the Santa Monica Mountains, and foxes and bobcats make occasional appearances in her yard. But this was a first.

A mountain lion cub lounges in a tree in a Pacific Palisades backyard on Aug. 2, 2018. (Credit: Gina Vincent)

A mountain lion cub lounges in a tree in a Pacific Palisades backyard on Aug. 2, 2018. (Credit: Gina Vincent)

Unsure what to do next, Vincent enlisted the help of her neighbor Steven Dietz.

Deitz described it as an odd but majestic encounter.

"It's a beautiful animal, it's clearly healthy and it was checking us out," he said. "I think it was just wondering when we would leave so it could go see its mom."

The pair called the California Department of Fish and Wildlife for advice. Deitz said the agency told him mothers only have intermittent contact with cubs that size, but she's still around, and the baby appeared healthy from the photos they saw.

"Leave it be," Deitz said the officials' advice was. "Keep the dogs and people away and it will come down on its own."

It's unclear whether the cat came down after nightfall Thursday. With the possibility of its mother being in the area, Vincent didn't feel it was safe to go check.

"It's just a beautiful animal and I hope that it can grow to full size and be protected," she said. "So I hope we're not scaring it."

If the animal is still there Friday morning, Vincent planned call Fish and Wildlife again to develop a plan of action for day two.

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