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Resident had 'staring contest' with mountain lion roaming Azusa neighborhood

A mountain lion was seen running around Azusa backyards on March 26.

Residents in an Azusa neighborhood were told to stay indoors Monday morning after a mountain lion wandered into the area and prowled around several homes, police said.

The animal was first sighted before 7 a.m. in the 600 block of Virginia Ann Drive, where it jumped a residence’s wall and climbed into the backyard, said Azusa police Officer Mike Bires.

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“We have the mountain lion contained to the rear of the residence and we do have [California Department of Fish and Wildlife wardens] on the way,” Bires said. “It’s just hanging out.”

Deborah Moore, 65, was among the first locals to see it. She was walking home from a neighbor’s house when she spotted it from across the street, standing on her front yard.

“I was stunned and amazed at the beauty. I didn’t feel scared, it didn’t seem like it was aggressive,” said Moore, who was returning from checking on her neighbor’s small Yorkie while she was out of town. “We just had a kind of staring contest and I didn’t want to take off and have it chase me or something.”

Moore said the mountain lion was the size of a small horse or pony. They broke their stare when an Azusa police officer drove up and told her to go inside. The mountain lion saw the officer and scampered into Moore’s backyard, where it hid in bushes and trees near her spa.

Police deployed a drone to monitor the cat’s movements, Bires said.

The mountain lion eventually hopped a fence and moved into a neighboring backyard, where it climbed a shed and hopped into the rear of another home.

The homes are next to a golf course in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains.

By 9:30 a.m., a warden with the Department of Fish and Wildlife had arrived and tranquilized the animal. Authorities then scooped it up and carried it to a truck, where they would check on it before releasing it back into the wild elsewhere, officials said.

10 a.m.: This post was updated with the mountain lion’s capture.

This article was originally published at 9:15 a.m.

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