Caught on Camera: Mountain Lion in Lakeside Neighborhood

"He's really long and slender-looking," said Kyle Michael, describing the big cat that has been frequenting his yard in Lakeside since this summer

A family in San Diego’s East County is growing more and more concerned as an unwanted, four-legged visitor keeps returning to their yard.

“I’m guessing he lives somewhere up on the side of the hill there,” Lakeside resident Kyle Michael told NBC 7 Saturday, referring to a mountain lion spotted several times near his home. “Nobody’s ever seen one around here.”

Michael, who lives on Green Lane, has captured sightings of the mountain lion on his home surveillance cameras over the past few months. The first images of the big cat were caught on video in July, as the mountain lion walked down Michael’s driveway just minutes before one of Michael’s family members left the house to head to work.

“He’s really long and slender-looking,” Michael told NBC 7, describing the animal.

The Lakeside resident said the sightings of the mountain lion have left him worried for the safety of his family, including his 2-year-old son.

“It’s kind of scary, when you walk out in the morning. I don’t go to work ‘til 8 a.m. but the [mountain lion] is up at the crack of dawn and that’s usually when he’s roaming,” said Michael. “Makes me want to keep my son inside and my dogs inside, you know, cause who knows if he’s hungry.”

Michael’s concern for his toddler only grew when the mountain lion resurfaced on video two weeks ago, this time walking down his front steps – the ones leading directly up to and around his front porch to the front door.

Google Maps
A map showing Kyle Michael's neighborhood in Lakeside where he says a mountain lion has been roaming since at least July.

“I was down working on that tractor down there and it was probably around 10 or 11 a.m. and he was up on this hillside over here, coming down and he [saw] us and he didn’t stop, he just kept going down over there,” he recalled.

In all of the sightings, the mountain lion walks down from the hill into the neighborhood below.

Michael said one of his neighbors called a wildlife association to report the animal.

“They said they don’t do anything unless the animal is causing harm but he’s causing any harm yet,” said Michael.

He said his family and neighbors used to hear coyotes several times a week on the hill but since this past summer they have heard no howling, just silence, along with the occasional glimpse of another predator even higher on the food chain.

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