LOS ANGELES – A mountain lion snatched a leashed Chihuahua from a man walking two dogs Friday, and some are concerned that it might be a beloved mountain lion who lives in the park nearby.
The incident happened west of Griffith Park near Hollywood Reservoir in Los Angeles shortly after sunset.
According to KTLA, security camera footage captured the moment when 9-year-old Piper, a Chihuahua mix, was pulled away from her dog walker and killed. The other leashed dog was not harmed.
A witness told KTTV that the mountain lion pulled the dog off the dog walker’s leash.
“He literally grabbed one of the dogs, pulled him so hard that he pulled him off the leash, and ran off with the dog in its mouth,” Warren Jason told WTTV.
According to The Associated Press, there is speculation that the mountain lion who snatched the dog was the famous “P-22″, an 11-year-old mountain lion living in nearby Griffith Park.
Daniel Jimenez, Piper’s owner, learned about Piper’s death later Friday evening but told KTLA that he didn’t blame the mountain lion because it is what wild animals do.
“I don’t want anything bad to happen to P-22. I just want people to be safe out there so that nothing like this happens again,” Jimenez told KTLA.
P-22 gained notoriety over the years as a symbol of wild animals trapped by sprawling development. P-22 crossed multiple freeways before making Griffith Park its home.
In early 2022, construction began on a large wildlife crossing for mountain lions and other animals 35 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles. The star of the fundraising campaign for the project was the P-22, according to The Associated Press.
P-22 does wear a tracking collar, but park services have not yet confirmed if the mountain lion killed the dog.
Residents in the area told KTTV they are worried about what could happen to P-22.
“The drought means there are less rabbits and other wildlife in the area, so P-22 is looking for food. This is his home and we have to adapt,” a Hollywood Hills resident told KTTV.