P-22, L.A.’s big cat, kills Chihuahua in Hollywood Hills

A mountain lion that killed a Chihuahua on its leash earlier this month after quietly stalking a dog walker in the Hollywood Hills is the famous big cat P-22, the National Park Service confirmed Monday.

For over a decade, the cougar has captivated Angelenos, captured by doorbells and security cameras while strolling in and around Griffith Park and residential sidewalks. With the large radio tracking collar around his neck, the P-22 is instantly recognizable as he roams the hills. But the cat star recently reminded the world that he’s still a wild animal.

P-22s killed the Chihuahua while walking a dog walker on a leash on Nov. 9, according to the National Park Service, which monitors mountain lions living in the area.

“Based on video footage and GPS tracking collar data, we know that P-22 was the animal responsible for the attack,” the agency said in a statement Monday

However, according to experts, the chances of a human being attacked by the cougar are still very slim.

“You’re more likely to get struck by lightning than attacked by a mountain lion,” said Beth Pratt, regional executive director of the nonprofit National Wildlife Federation. “But there is never zero risk.”

Grainy video of the attack, first reported by KTLA-TV, showed the dog walker with two dogs being pursued by a mountain lion in the narrow streets of the Hollywood Hills. The mountain lion stayed low to the ground and gave chase to the group before attacking Piper, a Chihuahua mix, according to the station.

The attack happened near Hollywood Reservoir, the National Park Service said in a statement. 12-year-old P-22 is the oldest cat in the agency’s study. For years, P-22 ebbed and flowed quietly in a nine square mile tract of Griffith Park and nearby residential areas.

The park service said this is the first time a mountain lion has attacked a leashed pet in the Los Angeles area, but other incidents have been reported in Colorado and other parts of Southern California.

P-22s, like most other mountain lions, are opportunistic predators, Pratt said.

“They are stealth predators,” she said. “They’re called ‘ghost cats’ for a reason. This is how they get their prey. It is not like the vision of lions in Africa hunting their prey on the plains.”

As a pet owner, Pratt is saddened by the dog and its owner. But pets can resemble a mountain lion’s natural prey, she said. In behavior familiar to pet cat owners, P-22 chased the handler and dogs before pouncing, Pratt said, but he showed no aggression toward the handler when he got the dog.

“It’s sad that P-22 killed a beloved pet,” she said. “But he doesn’t know that. He was just a mountain lion.”

Such attacks are rare, Pratt said. P-22 adjusted and set its own course around human activity. The 123-pound big cat has led a nocturnal existence around its usual romp near the Hollywood sign in Griffith Park.

Researchers believe P-22 originally hails from the Santa Monica Mountains and was born to another marked lion, P-1, and an unnamed female lion.

In 2012, it found its way down the 405 and 101 freeways to reach Griffith Park.

P-22 managed to avoid being hit by vehicles during his stay at Griffith Park, and despite suffering a bout of mange from rat poisoning in 2014, the lion remains healthy to this day.

He has occasionally taken trips to the Hollywood Hills, and in 2015 he stunned biologists by settling into a crawl space beneath a Los Feliz home. Then, just as abruptly as he appeared, he split that neighborhood.

In March he was roaming near Silver Lake Reservoir, huddled outside his usual hunting grounds.

This latest incident was unique, but conditions were right for a mountain lion, the National Park Service said.

The attack took place in complete darkness, about 90 minutes after sunset. Normally, P-22 hunts deer and coyotes in Griffith Park. A few weeks before killing the Chihuahua, P-22 took down a large buck in the park, officials said.

Mountain lions generally avoid large urban areas and are afraid of humans, but they occasionally wander through front yards. According to wildlife studies, mountain lions prey on domestic dogs and other pets that are lost, off-leash, or wandering alone. There have been instances of mountain lions attacking pets in their yards and even venturing into a garage and home, in what the National Park Service described as “two unusual instances.”

“There is no evidence that hunting pets is associated with an increased likelihood of attacking an individual, either in mountain lions or other urban carnivores such as coyotes,” the park service said. “Attacks by mountain lions on humans are extremely rare, although they do occur.”

The agency reminds pet owners to keep their animals indoors, be aware of their surroundings, and supervise pets at dusk or dawn, when predators are most active. If a person encounters a mountain lion outdoors, they should keep their pet nearby, appear as large as possible, make noise, and not run.

https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2022-11-21/big-cat-kills-chihuahua-in-hollywood-hills P-22, L.A.’s big cat, kills Chihuahua in Hollywood Hills

Alley Einstein

USTimesPost.com is an automatic aggregator of the all world’s media. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials, please contact us by email – admin@ustimespost.com. The content will be deleted within 24 hours.

Related Articles

Back to top button