Silver Lake on mountain lion watch*

Forget about coyotes.   Some residents in northeast Silver Lake report seeing a different kind of wildlife roaming the streets: a mountain lion cub.

A notice on the Silver Lake Neighborhood Council website says a cub was spotted twice over the weekend, including once on a roof top. Here are the details:

A member of the Northeast Silver Lake Neighborhood Watch has reported that a mountain lion cub was seen Saturday night, June 1, at 7:20 PM on the hillside above Glendale Bl. and Bancroft St., and that tonight — Sunday, June 2 — at 7:20 two people saw it on a neighbor’s roof, on the 2300 block of Teviot St. One person “had a very good look at it. It was the size of about 3x of a normal cat and had a very long tail. We alerted the neighbors to take their animals in. 911 was called and at 8:45 the police was here to take down info. They said Animal Control Officers would be called and if anyone would see the animal, 911 was to be called immediately.”

An officer with the Northeast Division this morning said he could not confirm whether officers were sent out or not to check out the mountain lion report. Brenda Barnette, General Manager of the city’s Animal Services department, said one call was received about a mountain lion sighting in the area.  “However, it was an hour after the siting and the cat was not longer visible so we did not dispatch an officer,” she said.

Meanwhile, Silver Lake blogger Diane Edwardson, who has written extensively about neighborhood wildlife, said she has her doubts about this lion cub sighting.

“It seems like every few years there are a few mountain lion sightings in that neighborhood,” Edwardson said via email. “There is not large enough prey to support mountain lions – they eat deer. There would be a lot more missing big dogs. I think either someone has a pet mountain lion that escapes from time to time or it’s a bobcat.”

* This post has been updated with additional details from Brenda Barnette of the Animal Services department.


  1. Almost definitely NOT a mountain lion. Bobcat? Maybe. More likely a big cat, a raccoon, or even a possum.

  2. Maybe it’s that dog that’s shaved like a lion.

  3. Dan, I would also be very surprised if it were a mountain lion. The nearest known mountain lion, P22 in Griffith Park, has plenty of deer and no need to leave the park, especially not to go toward a high-density area like Silver Lake.

    There are a lot of coyotes in that part of Silver Lake — I wonder, could one of them look like a mountain lion?

  4. I have to admit, I swore up and down that I saw a young mountain lion in Echo Park until my BF forced me to get closer… to the XL tabby cat. Having lived with a mountain lion hide on my father’s trophy wall, I would have expected a little more accuracy from myself. Point being – even the best of us are fooled. I doubt it was a mountain lion.

  5. the disbelief expressed both in this article and in the comments is a bit odd to me. in april a 140 lb. mountain lion was tranquilized and captured in glendale and returned to angeles national.

    • Stefani, the disbelief expressed about the sighting of the alleged mountain lion is as odd to you as the alleged sighting is to anyone familiar with the big cat. While certainly not impossible that a mountain lion ventured into such an unlikely urban environment (one was shot and killed last year in a Santa Monica business district), it is highly improbable.

      Certainly Glendale is an urban area as well, but keep in mind it abuts the Verdugo Mountains, which bridge with the San Gabriel Mountains, the cat’s natural habitat. So it’s not more likely for a mountain lion to venture into that and other foothill communities than it would be for one to find its way into Silver Lake — and on a rooftop no less.

      • Agh. Correction: strike the “not.” I meant it’s more likely for a mountain lion to venture into Glendale than Silver Lake.

        • makes sense to me but griffith is a hop skip away and there is one there. i think as time goes on things like this will become less and less rare with wildfires and encroachment and such. i don’t know . . . i’m not as apt to write this off as mistaken identity as i’ve had large house cats throughout my life (20 fat pounders) and even a maine coon is nowhere near the size of a mountain lion cub.

  6. Sounds like a Maine Coon with a summer shave. They get up to 20+ lbs easily.

  7. The mountain lion had a drink at the Red Lion!

  8. Mountain lion cubs are spotted, they lose their spots as they grow. Bob cats have short, bobbed tails but are similarly spotted. Savannah cats are huge (can be 25+ lbs), spotted, domestic house cats with long tails like a mountain lion.

    I would love to hear if the person who spotted the mountain lion cub knows about cats or at least is very familiar with mountain lion cubs, and what the circumstance of their sighting was. I would be skeptical but it is possible. We live in Mountain Lion country.

  9. The fact they said it has a long tail rules out a bobcat. And a coyote on a rooftop is pretty unlikely.

    By far the most likely thing is just a big house cat, but it is not impossible that a mountain lion wanders down the right of way of the 2 freeway, or follows the LA River, hell we have a confirmed mountain lion living less than two miles away in Griffith Park.

    I hope it is one, and it finds it’s way to join the other in Griffith park. Anyone who has seen one of these animals knows how magical they are.

  10. I’m takin’ it to be a mountain lion, immature, a juvenile looking to stake out territory. Pushed out of Griffith Park by #22, or whatever his name/tag was. An easy lope along river to get to Silver Lake, peeps jog it all the time, for a rangy puma no big deal at all. I’m hopeful.

    Over my lifetime in Los Angeles I’ve been amazed and disappointed — squirrels and hawks are now everywhere, owls hoot, skunks and raccoons walking in best ‘hoods and coyotes are common. We didn’t see that much urban wildlife in the 50s — 70s. What we’ve lost is considerable:

    the big brown Alligator lizard was fearsome to see in LA gardens, little brown newts after rains were commonly seen too. There were ocassional garter snakes in central LA — but the worst loss are the vacant lots with high weeks that attracted and supported the butterflies of Los Angeles. The city was once filled with them, on the wing, flitting about, visiting gardens up and down the streets of the city — Gulf fritillaries, Cabbage butterflies, Mourning Cloaks, Black swallowtails and the huge Tiger swallowtail. Now and then the giant Monarch, usually a solitary individual lost on the migration.

    So I hope it’s a mountain lion, because as much as my hometown has changed for the worse, a little invading wildness is welcome by me and seems to turn the clock back just a tad.

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