HomeOutdoorsNewsFamous LA Mountain Lion Captured for Evaluation After Attacking Dogs

Famous LA Mountain Lion Captured for Evaluation After Attacking Dogs

by Taylor Cunningham
Ibrahim Suha Derbent/Getty

A famous Los Angeles mountain lion dubbed P-22 has been captured and will soon undergo evaluation after it recently attacked two leashed dogs.

The 11-year-old “Hollywood Cat” has lived its entire life in the Griffith Park area of the city. The National Park Service has been studying the 123-pound male for some time. And until now, he had never shown signs of aggression towards people or pets.

On Monday, Dec. 12, officials with California’s Department of Fish and Wildlife located him in the backyard of a Los Feliz home through his GPS collar. After tranquilizing him, they took him to the Los Angeles Zoo. While there, vets gave emergency care and triage before releasing him back to DFW.

The mountain lion was in stable condition at the time, but vets will give him further examinations and treatment due to reports that he was recently hit by a car.

Officials Believe the Mountain Lion is Distressed

The animal is linked to two separate attacks on leashed dogs. During the first incident, he killed a chihuahua while its owner was taking it for a walk. In the second attack, the owner was able to fight off P-22. But the dog suffered several lacerations on its neck and body.

On Thursday, Fish and Wildlife and the National Park Service announced in a joint statement that officials planned to capture the mountain lion and “determine the best next steps for the animal while also prioritizing the safety of surrounding communities.”

Because P-22 has never been a threat, the departments are concerned that he “may be exhibiting signs of distress.” Mountain lions rarely hunt pets, especially when they’re accompanied by their owners.

“We don’t know the cause for his sudden change in behavior,” Beth Pratt, regional executive director of the California National Wildlife Federation, told ABC News7. “But we appreciate the support of the community during this challenging time.”

“Our hearts go out to the pets and people that in P-22’s distress have been impacted,” she added.

Mountain lions typically only live around eight years. So, Pratt assumes that his age is causing his aggression. And the fact that he’s a senior wild cat also presents problems for the next steps.

“Now, 10 to 12 is really stretching it for mountain lions,” she said in an earlier statement. “Also, he’s aging on camera, right? This is something that’s kind of unprecedented. To relocate him would likely be a death sentence. And that is why it was always something as a last resort.”