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latimes.com

Mountain lion suspected of killing 85-pound Labrador in Glendale

By Tim Traeger

1:42 PM PST, December 31, 2013

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A mountain lion is believed to have killed an 85-pound black Labrador retriever named Bubba, dragging it over a 3 1/2-foot wall in north Glendale.

The attack apparently happened about 3 a.m. Friday on Rimcrest Drive, near Canonwood Drive, said Bubba's owners, James and Lynnette Hamada. They found the dog Saturday afternoon in a neighbor’s side yard with a dead rabbit lying on their dog’s lifeless body, the Glendale News-Press reported.

Animal control officials could not confirm that the dog or rabbit were killed by a mountain lion, but based on information residents provided there is a strong likelihood that a mountain lion killed the animals, Glendale Police Sgt. Tom Lorenz said. 

"We’ve had 150-pound deer preyed on by mountain lions," Lorenz added. 

Lynnette Hamada warned everyone to be cautious and aware of their surroundings, noting that while animal control officials said it could be any animal, "it had to be strong enough to lift our dog over a stucco wall."

“I don’t want my dog killed in vain," she said. "Just so people have awareness, they might not want to keep their pets out at night. Our dog stayed outside for 11 years. It’s my hope that this doesn’t happen to anyone else’s pet or family member.”

Officials warned that there are dangers inherent in living in the hillsides and urged people to keep their pets indoors at night to minimize attacks from wildlife.

"I want people to know that whether it’s a sighting or possible sighting to please contact us at the Glendale Police Department," Lorenz said.

It's not unusual to see mountain lions capture heavy prey, said Andrew Hughan, spokesman for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

"It’s kind of sad, but I’ve seen 100-pound deer dragged up a tree. Mountain lions are unbelievably strong, stealthy predators," he said.

Hughan recommended that people not let their pets wander around outside and that they not leave pet food out, making for an easy target.

"People have an inherent responsibility to keep track of their pets," he said.

Pet owners can also turn yard lights on at night to keep the large cats at bay.

"Lions are afraid of people. Ninety-nine times out of 100, they’ll run away. They fear what they do not know," Hughan said.

Ricky Whitman, vice president of community relations for the Pasadena Humane Society -- which provides animal control services for Glendale -- said living close to nature is a double-edged sword.

"Part of the joy of living there is the proximity to wildlife, but tragic things can happen," Whitman said.

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tim.traeger@latimes.com

Twitter: @TraegerTim

Tim Traeger is a Times Community News staff writer.