Rachel Wong and her husband knew something strange had happened at their backyard pool in the Whiting Woods area of Glendale overnight when they saw things were amiss the next morning.
They checked their surveillance footage Thursday morning and saw that there had, in fact, been a prowler, but not the kind you'd expect.
A mountain lion had chased a deer into their inground pool, and the whole encounter was caught on video.
One camera catches a brief glimpse of the deer dashing down a sidewalk with the mountain lion in pursuit.
Another angle shows the deer plunging into the pool with the mountain lion making a big splash right behind.
The big cat quickly gets out of the water while the resourceful deer paddles a few circles around the pool.
The mountain lion steps around the corner of the house, leaving the frame. The deer is seen swimming around for about 30 seconds before climbing out of the pool and scampering into the darkness.
The home in Whiting Woods is up against the Verdugo Mountains just north of Honolulu Avenue.
It's actually the second time that Rachel Wong has seen a mountain lion. The first time, one got her dog.
"He came because I had let my dog out, and I tried to get it but the mountain lion was faster than me," she said. The encounter has neighbors concerned, and new mom Rachel won't be letting her infant daughter out of her sight any time soon.
"Not even during the day because in the summer we have rattlesnakes as well," Rachel added.
Wilderness experts that saw the video believe it was a female mountain lion they call "Nikita," known to roam around the mountain areas around Glendale.
"I think it's her. Launching full tilt after a deer and both of them landing in the swimming pool, most incredible thing I've ever seen," wildlife photographer Johanna Turner with Arroyos & Foothills Conservancy said. "From the video, you can see that the lion gets out almost right away, and I'm sure she was shocked to be soaked. I'm sure she got out, shaken off, it was real cold last night."
The deer walks away from the pool, but Turner thinks it's likely she didn't make it very far.
"Unfortunately, probably for the deer, it was headed straight for where she was. So I think it's very possible, the lion might've waited for her, waited for the deer on her way out," Turner said.