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Mountain lion cubs hit with broomsticks before being rescued

December 21, 2011 |  6:25 am

Malnourished mountain lion cubs

Burbank officials on Tuesday rescued two malnourished mountain lion cubs that were hiding under a parked car after residents reportedly tried hitting them with broomsticks.

The cubs, weighing 5 pounds each, may not have eaten in two weeks, officials said. Some residents were using the brooms to try to hit the cubs or shoo them away, said 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., officials said. The cubs were so small, they were initially reported as baby bobcats.

The cubs were first taken to the Burbank Animal Shelter, where it was determined they were 10-week-old mountain lions, Ryburn said. They were then taken to a refuge in Calabasas.

California Department of Fish and Game officials took the cubs to the refuge, where they were placed with another litter in hopes of improving their health, Ryburn said.

"They had not been fed for about two weeks," he said.

Cindy Reyes, executive director of the refuge, said it was unusual for mountain lion cubs to be abandoned in an urban area. "I suspect they were pretty hungry and looking for food," she said.

She stressed that people should not attempt to engage wildlife, no matter how small, and should instead call animal-control officers.

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-- Maria Hsin, Times Community News

Photo: Two abandoned mountain lion cubs rescued by Burbank officials. Credit: Burbank Animal Shelter

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