Mountain Lion Caught on Camera; Dogs Fight Off Another

Mountain lion sightings prompt police to alert community members in foothills of Burbank

By Jane Yamamoto, Jason Kandel and Reggie Kumar
|  Saturday, Jan 4, 2014  |  Updated 4:19 PM CDT
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A Sun Valley man believes his dog was killed and his body taken taken after watching home surveillance footage that shows a mountain lion walking onto his property. The footage comes after a mountain lion alert was triggered in Burbank after sightings in the last few days. Reggie Kumar reports from Sun Valley for Today in LA on Saturday, Jan. 4, 2014.

A Sun Valley man believes his dog was killed and his body taken taken after watching home surveillance footage that shows a mountain lion walking onto his property. The footage comes after a mountain lion alert was triggered in Burbank after sightings in the last few days. Reggie Kumar reports from Sun Valley for Today in LA on Saturday, Jan. 4, 2014.

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Dogs Fend Off Mountain Lion

Mountain lion sightings prompt police to alert community members in foothills of Burbank. Jane Yamamoto reports for the NBC4 News at 11 p.m. on Jan. 3, 2014.
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A mountain lion caught on camera in Sun Valley and an attack on two dogs in Burbank have prompted authorities to alert surrounding Southern California communities to be on the lookout.

A Sun Valley man said he noticed the mountain lion on surveillance footage after he couldn’t find his dog Rocky on Friday morning.

“I checked the surveillance cameras after the dog was missing to see what happened with the incident,” Saro Tomasian said. “That’s where it was I sighted the mountain lion on the property.”

VIDEO: Mountain Lion Captured While Roaming SoCal Suburb

In the video, the mountain lion can be seen slowly walking onto Tomasian’s property and across his backyard.

Tomasian says Rocky hasn’t been seen since, and he believes the mountain lion killed him and took the body into nearby foothills.

“We’ve been here eight, nine years as residents,” Tomasian said. “Rocky hasn’t stepped out of the property at all.”

About two miles away, it was a scary night for Tom Lawrence as his two big dogs fought off a mountain lion just before 1 a.m. in his Burbank neighborhood.

“We could hear them fighting down here by the pool,” he said. “There's blood.”

VIDEO: After Cougar Kills Dog, Owner Calls Community Meeting

His 2-year-old dog, Stevo, was bitten on the ear and suffered a few scratches.

Lawrence tried to help his dogs -- both Rhodesian Ridgebacks -- which are bred for hunting mountain lions.

“The mountain lion was right up the hill,” he said. All he had was a flashlight, pointed it at the animal and it ran away.

The cat, weighing at least 120 pounds, ran into the wilderness after Lawrence said it stopped for water at his pool.

His home on Hemline Place backs up against the Verdugo Mountains and over the past 18 years he's seen lots of wildlife.

“Bobcats, deer, coyote,” he said. “Never a mountain lion. Mountain lions are discreet.”

Wildlife expert Martine Colette, the founder and director of the Wildlife Waystation, said mountain lions may be wandering down in search of food.

“We have had no rain and animals will come in for water,” she said.

The mountain lion sighting is not the first in Burbank and police issued a community alert.

“Our residents don't want to lose their animals,” said Burbank Police Sgt. Darin Ryburn. “We don't want our residents to get hurt.”

But if you come face to face with one, stop, make yourself as big as you can, don't make eye contact and slowly back away, officials said.

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