Mountain lion comes knocking in Westlake Village

Animal frightens family and small dog


P-55, alleged intruder

P-55, alleged intruder

Mountain lion females will protect their young at all costs.

So will humans.

An adult mountain lion, fixed with a National Park Service tracking collar, tried to break into a Parkwood Estates home near the Three Springs neighborhood in Westlake Village on Feb. 4.

Homeowner Nadine Young said the indoor and outdoor lights at her house were on around 8 p.m. when the predator approached the property’s living room area, saw the family’s small dog inside and head-butted the room’s floor-to-ceiling glass door four times in a period of two minutes. The glass is not tempered, and Young said she feared the strong animal was ready to break through.

CAT BURGLAR—The cougar tries to break through a sliding-glass door at Nadine Young’s home near Three Springs in Westlake Village. Young took the photo with her phone while her 8-year-old son looked on, horrified.

CAT BURGLAR—The cougar tries to break through a sliding-glass door at Nadine Young’s home near Three Springs in Westlake Village. Young took the photo with her phone while her 8-year-old son looked on, horrified.

The family’s 8-year-old son was the first to see it coming. As the boy cried out, his mother came running. Young said her 4-year-old daughter was in another room.

“My son went for the patio door and I just freaked out,” Young told The Acorn. “It (the mountain lion) was not scared of humans whatsoever and was brazen in its behavior.”

SCENE HERE—Nadine Young with her son Sammy, 8, and their 14-year-old Jack Russell terrier, Daisy, standing in front of the sliding glass door where the mountain lion tried to get in. RICHARD GILLARD/Acorn Newspapers

SCENE HERE—Nadine Young with her son Sammy, 8, and their 14-year-old Jack Russell terrier, Daisy, standing in front of the sliding glass door where the mountain lion tried to get in. RICHARD GILLARD/Acorn Newspapers

Young photographed the animal with her cellphone just a few feet away on the other side of the glass. She said had it been a screen door and not a glass door, she and her son might have been the prey.

Following the last attempt to enter the home—as the cougar circled and paced in the backyard and appeared to ready itself for another launch at the glass—Young ran outside waving her arms to chase the animal away. It backed off and ran into the brush, she said.

Young said confronting the lion outdoors might not have been the smartest move.

“It was pacing back and forth. . . . If it had turned around it could have mauled me.”

There were no injuries.

The Young home lies on the southwest side of Westlake Lake. The quiet, semirural neighborhood in the foothills of the Santa Monica Mountains is home to frequent deer visits, and now it has received visits from at least one mountain lion.

A lion had been seen previously stalking the neighborhood of a nearby street.

“Hi, Nadine. If this is the cat that killed our animals last Monday and charged my husband, then the authorities need to finally help,” wrote Malibu Springs resident Debra Malmazeda on the Nextdoor website.

A spokesperson for the National Park Service, which has been tracking and studying the area’s cougar population since 2002, said the animal is believed to be P-55, a 3-year-old male mountain lion that was closest to the scene based on its tracking collar. P-55 is the same cougar that was caught on video splashing into the backyard spa of a Newbury Park home in July 2017, and pacing in front of a chain link fence in Thousand Oaks two months later. Experts tracking P-55’s movements say he has made a successful crossing of three major highways in his quest for survival, the 23, 101 and 118.

Last weekend’s incident fueled the debate over human-mountain lion cohabitation. Some are seizing on the Westlake Lake confrontation as evidence that the proposed 101 Freeway wildlife bridge in Agoura Hills will only serve to increase dangerous contact between the two kings of the jungle, humans and cougars.

“These frightening pictures and the brazen, instinctive acts of this large, hungry lion prove that wild, bloodthirsty, nocturnal predators cannot peacefully co-exist in an area that has been developed for human population, and should underscore the many reasons to stop the insanity of spending $100 million dollars for a dirt bridge designed to increase their numbers,” Agoura Hills resident Paul Scrivano said in an email to The Acorn.