LOS ANGELES – A mountain lion known for roaming Los Angeles for the last 10 years, and most recently blamed for attacking and killing a dog, was captured by wildlife officials in California.
The mountain lion, known as P-22, was caught Sunday night after the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and National Park Service received a report that the animal had been hit by a car.
On Dec. 8, CDFW announced its intent to capture the predator and bring it in for an evaluation, due to a change in the animal’s behavior.
P-22 is estimated to be 12 years old, and has spent much of the last 10 years living in Los Angeles’ Griffith Park. P-22 has been spotted by the famous Hollywood sign, burrowing beneath a home, and was blamed for killing a koala at the Los Angeles Zoo, NPR reported.
“This is an unprecedented situation in which a mountain lion has continued to survive in such an urban setting,” CDFW told The Associated Press last week. “As P-22 has aged, however, the challenges associated with living on an island of habitat seem to be increasing and scientists are noting a recent change in his behavior.”
Those behavioral changes include killing a leashed Chihuahua in the Hollywood Hills and attacking a dog in Silver Lake, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Those changes could be signs of distress, said Beth Pratt, the California regional executive director for the National Wildlife Federation, who described herself as “P-22′s agent.”
“It’s so obvious that he’s in some distress, that something has radically changed his behavior,” Pratt told the Los Angeles Times.
Wildlife officials said in a news release that P-22 was located using the GPS locations and signal from his tracking collar in Los Feliz.
Sarah Picchi told The New York Times that she heard a knock on her door and answered it to an official telling her, “There’s a lion in your yard.” After bringing her dog inside, Picchi and her husband watched as officials tranquilized the animal and took him away.
A photo shared by wildlife officials shows P-22 in a green tarp. Officials said they took the animal to a wild animal care facility for a full health evaluation and determined the mountain lion to be in “stable” condition. Going forward, officials said they plan to “determine the next best steps for the animal while also prioritizing the safety of the surrounding communities.”
“I’m glad he’s now under safe keeping,” Pratt told The New York Times. “He’s under good care, and we’re going to find out what’s going on.”
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