BH Wildlife


New Guy in Town

New Guy in Town

The terms wildlife and Beverly Hills together conjure up images of bad boy rappers going off the hook at L ‘Ermitage, not mountain lions prowling Sunset Boulevard.

That’s why the warning signs posted at Coldwater Canyon Park, featuring a photo of a well-fed, tawny Felis concolor perched on a snowy outcropping, caught my attention. First of all, since records were first kept in 1921, snow has only fallen on Los Angeles ten times – and not a single instance since 1962. Second of all, the sign declared the animal as “aggressive” and if seen, one should dial 9-1-1.


Dialing for help is preferable over bolting when it comes to mountain lions. They can mistake a fleeing person as a prey animal and the last thing I want to do is confuse a cougar into thinking that I am a deer.

Run for your life? No bueno.

Run for your life? No bueno.








Over the years, especially during drought, BH residents have seen their fair share of raccoons, coyotes and possums. None of these critters licks its chops at the sight of humans. Neither do mountain lions particularly, so what’s changed? Should I be worried?

According to LA Animal Services, mountain lions are thriving in California. There are anywhere from 100s to 10,000 of them.  No, that was not a type-o. At the moment, that’s as precise as authorities can get. Maybe off-road bikers, hikers and construction workers who increasingly invade wildlife habitats are the cause for the crabby cougar sightings.

Maybe.  Maybe not. Californians passed Prop 117 in 1990, which created a Habitat Conservation Fund and guaranteed it funding of $30 million a year for 30 years in order to “acquire, enhance, or restore” specified types of lands for wildlife or open space. In particular, mountain lions are a protected species and no one can kill them “unless for the protection of life, livestock or other property.”

Personally, I’m optimistic the fussy feline will head back to that snowy outcropping from the warning photo. If not, hopefully my American Bulldog can scare it off with a loud bark.

If you do happen to see an up to eight-foot long mountain lion, alert wildlife authorities at 888-452-7381. In the meantime, I’ve got a call into Wildlife Officer Gregory Randall to find out just how likely it is that Beverly Hills residents might end up tangling with a mountain lion. Check for more mountain lion updates at BH Mom on Facebook.


Author Description

Cynthia Baseman

Cynthia Baseman is the author of 'Love, Mom: A Mother's Journey from Loss to Hope.' She writes about motherhood, the environment and education.

There are 8 comments. Add yours

  1. 1st February 2013 | Elaine says: Reply
    BH Mom - where in the heck are you walking? That's what happens when you stray from Rodeo Drive. Don't go looking for trouble you wild thing.
  2. 1st February 2013 | Valerie Berke says: Reply
    Let's face it, those beautiful, yet sometimes scary, felines were here WAY before all the construction workers and "civilized" populations. The drought is also to blame for their sightings, they come down in search of water. In my neighborhood, Woodland Hills near Topanga Canyon and Mulholland, we consistently see very thin, skittish coyotes. You can always count on new posters going up every week for those cats and small dogs who magically "disappear." When are people going to learn that these little guys are not only family pets, but prey, as well? I love reading your articles CB! Val
    • 1st February 2013 | Cynthia Baseman says: Reply
      You said it: small pets cannot be left alone in the yard to fend for themselves - not even for a few minutes. I know too many unhappy endings to that tale.
  3. 1st February 2013 | lauradennisca says: Reply
    They are not so uncommon--when I lived in Brentwood in a hilly, wooded area, I saw one prowling on the gated edge, not 20 feet away from my large bathroom window. It was 4 am and it scared the living daylights out of me. Keep small pets and cats indoors, or where you can see them!
  4. 1st February 2013 | Hayley Kaplan says: Reply
    Seeing a coyote running up my street was bad enough. I sure hope I never see a mountain lion. Please do keep us posted. Thanks BH Mom.
  5. 1st February 2013 | Mamacita says: Reply
    careful when wearing your grandmas fur coat on a casual walk in the hills. you could be mistaken for a hungry Mountain Lion looking for a mate.
  6. 1st February 2013 | Lesley says: Reply
    Good to know!

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