NBC4 / Whit Johnson
A 125-pound mountain lion was spotted in residential Glendale, near Los Angeles, calling out Fish and Wildlife officials to search for the cougar for hours before tranquilizing and capturing the big cat. The animal was taken in a pickup truck into the forest to be released.
A mountain lion was tranquilized and captured after being spotted in a developed, residential area of northern Glendale Thursday, more than a mile from the animals' typical foothill habitat.
A resident called Glendale police at about 1:30 p.m. to report a mountain lion spotted in the backyard of a home in the 4500 block of New York Avenue, near New York Park, Police Sgt. Tom Lorenz said.
A nearby homeowner who called NBC4 said the mountain lion was seen on a neighbor's front porch. An initial sighting was reported at noon.
"There he was, just looking at me," said homeowner John Yankowsky, who saw the cougar through a sliding glass door.
Yankowsky's dog rushed to the door and barked uncontrollably. His owner called 911.
The area where the cat was spotted in a couple of blocks from Clark Magnet High School, an 1,100-student campus. The principal there said the school had been on "reverse lockdown," meaning doors were kept closed till classes ended at 3 p.m.
Video from the scene had shown the big cat leaping powerfully over a white fence in a home's yard, and aerial video showed the animal later strolling cautiously across the grass of another home, as seen below at right.
The lion then apparently hid under the deck of a home on Fairmount Avenue at New York Avenue (map).
It crawled under the home and was tranquilized and then moved into a pickup truck by California Department of Fish and Wildlife wardens just before 4 p.m.
As the limp animal was laid into the truck's bed, as shown below, dozens of area residents, police and media surrounded the vehicle and snapped photos.
Wardens said the big cat was a 125-pound male that was tranquilized three times before it was subdued.
The mountain lion population in California is relatively high and are often found in foothills and mountains. Attacks on humans are rare, with only 16 verified attacks in California since 1890, according to the state.
They tend to avoid humans, but are often found wherever deer -- their favored prey -- are found.