Burbank animal control officers Tuesday rescued two malnourished mountain lion cubs that were hiding under a parked car — but not before residents reportedly tried hitting them with a broomstick.
The cubs weigh 5 pounds each and were taken to a refuge in Calabasas.
Burbank Police Sgt. Darin Ryburn said residents called in the cubs’ location in the 600 block of East Orange Grove Avenue about 10:30 a.m. The cubs were so small, they were initially reported as baby bobcats.
Some residents were using brooms to try to hit the cubs or shoo them away, Ryburn said.
The cubs were first taken to the Burbank Animal Shelter, where it was determined they were 10-week-old mountain lions, he said.
Cindy Reyes, executive director of the refuge, stressed that residents should not attempt to engage wildlife, no matter how small, and should instead call animal control officers.
California Department of Fish and Game officials took the cubs to the rehabilitation center, where they were placed with another litter in the hopes of improving their health, Ryburn said.
“They had not been fed for about two weeks,” he said.
Reyes said it was unusual for mountain lion cubs to be discovered abandoned in an urban area. “I suspect they were pretty hungry and looking for food,” she said.
Animal control officers think the mother cat may be dead or perhaps led a male cougar away to prevent harm to the cubs, Ryburn said. Officials will have a better idea of what happened after they get results from a medical examination that included blood tests, he added.
Reyes said it was difficult to say how the cubs would do, but they seemed to be relatively stable given all the stress.
“We’re going to hope for the best right now,” she said.