A mountain lion that killed a Chihuahua on its leash after quietly stalking a canine walker within the Hollywood Hills earlier this month is the famed massive cat P-22, the Nationwide Park Service confirmed Monday.
For over a decade, the puma has captivated Angelenos, recorded by doorbell and safety cameras whereas strolling in and round Griffith Park and on residential sidewalks. With the massive radio monitoring collar round his neck, P-22 is immediately recognizable as he roams the hills. However the feline movie star lately reminded the world that he’s nonetheless a wild animal.
P-22 killed the Chihuahua because it was strolling on a leash with a canine walker on Nov. 9, in line with the Nationwide Park Service, which displays mountain lions residing within the area.
“Based mostly on video footage and GPS monitoring collar knowledge, we all know P-22 was the animal liable for the assault,” the company mentioned in an announcement on Monday
However the probabilities of a human being attacked by the cougar are nonetheless very slim, in line with consultants.
“You’re extra more likely to be struck by lightning than attacked by a mountain lion,” mentioned Beth Pratt, regional govt director of the nonprofit Nationwide Wildlife Federation. “However there’s by no means zero danger.”
Grainy video of the assault, first reported by KTLA-TV, confirmed the canine walker with two canines being adopted by a mountain lion within the slim streets of the Hollywood Hills. Staying low to the bottom, the mountain lion stalked the group earlier than it attacked Piper, a Chihuahua combine, in line with the station.
The assault occurred close to the Hollywood Reservoir, the Nationwide Park Service mentioned in an announcement. The 12-year-old P-22 is the oldest cat within the company’s research. For years, P-22 has quietly eked out his existence in a nine-square-mile space of Griffith Park and close by residential neighborhoods.
The Park Service mentioned that is the primary time they’re conscious of a mountain lion attacking a pet on a leash within the Los Angeles space, however there have been different incidents reported in Colorado and different elements of Southern California.
P-22, like most different mountain lions, are opportunistic predators, mentioned Pratt.
“They’re stealth predators,” she mentioned. “They’re referred to as ‘ghost cats’ for a cause. That is how they get their prey. It’s not just like the imaginative and prescient of lions in Africa that chase down their prey on the plains.”
As a pet proprietor herself, Pratt is saddened for the canine and its proprietor. However pets can resemble a mountain lion’s pure prey, she mentioned. In habits acquainted to house owners of pet cats, P-22 stalked the canine walker and the canines earlier than he pounced, Pratt mentioned, however he didn’t present any aggression towards the canine walker as soon as it acquired the canine.
“It’s unhappy that P-22 killed a beloved pet,” she mentioned. “However he doesn’t know that. He was simply being a mountain lion.”
Such assaults are uncommon, Pratt mentioned. P-22 has tailored and charted his personal course round human exercise. The 123-pound massive cat has maintained a nocturnal existence round his normal stomping floor close to the Hollywood register Griffith Park.
Researchers imagine P-22 is initially from the Santa Monica Mountains, born to a different tagged lion, P-1, and an unnamed feminine lion.
In 2012, he discovered his method throughout the 405 and 101 freeways to succeed in Griffith Park.
P-22 has managed to keep away from being hit by any automobiles throughout his Griffith Park residency, and, whereas he suffered a bout of mange as a result of rat poisoning in 2014, the lion stays wholesome immediately.
He’s made the occasional foray into the Hollywood Hills, and in 2015 he baffled biologists when he settled right into a crawlspace below a Los Feliz residence. Then, simply as abruptly as he appeared, he break up that neighborhood.
In March, he roamed close to the Silver Lake Reservoir, pushing exterior his normal looking grounds.
This newest incident was distinctive, however the situations had been proper for a mountain lion, the Nationwide Park Service mentioned.
The assault came about in full darkness, about 90 minutes after sundown. Sometimes, P-22 hunts deer and coyotes in Griffith Park. A number of weeks earlier than he killed the Chihuahua, P-22 took down a big buck within the park, officers mentioned.
Mountain lions usually keep away from giant city areas and are terrified of people, however they are going to sometimes wander by way of entrance yards. Mountain lions hunt home canines and different pets which are misplaced, off their leash or wandering alone, in line with wildlife research. There have been situations when mountain lions attacked pets of their yards and even ventured right into a storage and a home in what the Nationwide Park Service referred to as “two uncommon situations.”
“There is no such thing as a proof that preying on pets is expounded to an elevated probability of an assault on an individual, both in mountain lions, or in different city carnivores resembling coyotes,” the Park Service mentioned. “Mountain lion assaults on people are exceedingly uncommon, though they do happen.”
The company reminds pet house owners to maintain their animals indoors, to be alert of their environment and to oversee pets round nightfall or daybreak when predators are most energetic. If an individual does encounter a mountain lion open air, they need to maintain their pet shut, make themselves appear as giant as potential, make noise and don’t run.