Mountain lion, P-22, kills pet chihuahua out for stroll, shocked dog walker says 'he didn't growl at all'
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA: The chihuahua of a Hollywood Hills resident was attacked by a mountain lion when it was out for a stroll. The huge cat, known as P-22 according to his GPS collar, is well-known for frequenting homes in the Griffith Park-Silver Lake-Hollywood neighborhood of Los Angeles. P-22 had also killed a koala at the Los Angeles Zoo six years ago.
However, the lion gained greater recognition earlier this month when it attacked Piper, a chihuahua, near the Hollywood Reservoir at Creston and Durand Drives, grabbing hold of the dog and ripping it away from its frightened walker. "I felt the tug and I heard Piper squeal,' the dogwalker told KTLA. "I turn around and I just saw a face. I didn't know what it was. It was like a two- or three-second struggle... He didn't growl at all. I didn't even hear him. I never had a chance."
Daniel Jimenez, Piper's owner, was enjoying his daughter's birthday when the walker texted him. "The mountain lion attacked and took away your dog. Killed your dog," the text read. "We thought it was a joke, but it turned out it was real and we were just shocked, "said Jimenez, who said he was 'devastated' by the loss, Daily Mail reports.
Six years ago, P-22 staged a daring midnight break-in at the Los Angeles Zoo in which he leaped over an 8-foot wall and took the koala out of its enclosure. On average, P-22, an 11-year-old male puma, weighs 123 pounds, according to the website of the National Park Service. Normally, the cat stalks deer, coyotes, and other local wildlife, but the agency said that pumas are "opportunistic predators" who are most active at night, making it possible that they may attack dogs that are taken for nighttime walks or left outside in gardens overnight.
According to the park service, they are not aware of any previous occurrences in which mountain lions have attacked pets on leashes in the greater Los Angeles region. "There is no evidence that preying on pets is related to an increased chance of an attack on a person, either in mountain lions, or in other urban carnivores such as coyotes, "the service said in an emailed statement to CNN. "Mountain lion attacks on humans are exceedingly rare, although they do occur."
However, a 2016 study by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (DFW) that examined the stomach contents of 83 of 107 mountain lions that were legally killed in accordance with the terms of special permits discovered that more than half of them had consumed a dog, cat, or other household pet. Jimenez told KTLA that he doesn't hold the mountain lion responsible for his dog's passing because the animal was only in search of food.
"I don't want anything bad to happen to P-22,' said Jimenez. "I just want people to be safe out there so that nothing like this happens again." In addition to the danger posed by mountain lions, coyotes are a different predator that pet owners are advised to keep their animals safe from.